In this study the bacterial populations on root tips (1–2 days old) of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were compared with the populations on root segments about 1 week older (root base). The isolates were characterized with a set of physiological tests and the test results were used to group the bacteria by means of cluster analysis. Some clusters contained bacteria that occurred mainly on the root tips and were characterized by the ability to produce acid from different sugars and by the presence of the enzymes nitrate reductase, lipase, and oxidase; they were sensitive to high salt concentrations in the media. Another cluster included significantly more isolates from the root-base segments; these bacteria were characterized by a negative reaction to most of the physiological tests; the colonies formed by these bacteria had yellow pigmentation. Possiblemechanisms for the changes in the bacterial populations are discussed.