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Libri novi

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Libri novi LIBRI NOVI The Actinomycetes. Vol. 2. Classification, Identification, and Des- criptions of Genera and Species. SELMAN A. WAKSMAN, Insti- tute of Microbiology, Rutgers University. The Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore. 1961. pp. Ix, 363. $ 15.00. The second volume of this definitive trilogy on the Actinomycetes is a comprehensive systematic treatment of the order Actinomyceta- les. The author positively states in the preface and elsewhere: "I am now certain of one thing, namely, that the place of the actinomy- cetes is definitely among the bacteria and not among the fungi." Following a brief preface, an Introductory presents a key to the I0 genera in three families of this order. The families are: Act in o m y- c e taceae , with vegetative mycelium fragmenting into bacillary or coccoid units and including A ctinomyces and Nocardia ; S t r e p t o- re yc e t a c e a e, with nonseptate vegetative mycelium not fragmen- ting into bacillary and coccoid elements, and including the genera Streptomyces, Thermoactinomyces, Waksmania, Thermopolyspora, Micromonospora and Thermomonospora; and the A c t i n o p 1 a n a- c eae, with spores occurring in sorangia and including the genera Actinoplanes and Streptosporangium, The text is divided into 13 chapters, largely based on the require- ments of a text on systematics. The first chapter considers the sy- stematic position of the Actinomycetes and problems of generic and specific limitation. The question "What is a microbial species?" is answered by reviewing the ideas of a number of workers in micro- biology. Speciation of Streptomyces, and of the other genera in the order, is taken up at length as a review of the ideas expressed in earlier work of the author and others. One is left with the impression that the author will adopt the best characteristics based on morpho- logy and physiology for his species characterizations, and that spe- cies based on minor variations will not necessarily be recogniz

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