Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the PCR amplified fragments of recA, gyrA and rpoS genes was applied for the characterization of Erwinia amylovora and Erwinia strains, which cause fire blight and Asian pear blight in orchards. Primers, constructed on the basis of the published recA, gyrA and rpoS gene sequences of Erwinia carotovora, allowed us to amplify DNA fragments for RFLP differentiation of E. amylovora and E. pyrifoliae and finally to distinguish strains within these species and relate them to pear pathogens from Japan. Three to seven restriction endonucleases were applied for RFLP analysis of each gene fragment. The electrophoretic patterns generated after PCR–RFLP for each of the tested genes, were characteristic and specific for each species and allowed their differentiation. The data show that PCR–RFLP analysis of the recA, gyrA and rpoS gene fragments may be considered as a useful tool for the identification and differentiation of E. amylovora and E. pyrifoliae. Almost identical restriction patterns of the analyzed gene fragments indicated a high relationship of E. pyrifoliae strains from Korea and pear pathogens from Japan and a divergence to E. amylovora. For quick and effective differentiation of E. amylovora strains from Erwinia strains from Asia without nucleotide sequencing we recommend the amplification of recA and rpoS gene fragments and digestion of each of them with restriction endonuclease Hin6I.