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Numerical Survey of Some Bacterial Taxa

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Focht, D. D. (Iowa State University, Ames), and W. R. Lockhart. Numerical survey of some bacterial taxa. J. Bacteriol. 90:1314–1319. 1965.—A numerical analysis was made of 77 properties of each of 43 bacterial strains, representing 25 genera from 8 families in the orders Eubacteriales and Pseudomonadales. Four major groups were found, related to one another at approximately the same level of similarity: (1) a large cluster containing the subgroups (1a) Athiorhodaceae-Spirillaceae, (1b) Xanthomonas, and (1c) “inactive” Micrococcaceae-Achromobacteraceae; (2) a cluster containing the “active” Micrococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae; (3) the enterobacteria; and (4) Aeromonas. There was a sharp distinction between the branches of groups 1a, 1c, and 2. The composition of groups was essentially the same whether or not fermentation of carbohydrates (28 characters) was included in the analysis. Several individual strains, notably, Bacillus subtilis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Erwinia amylovora, were related to none of the groups, and others (two species of Proteus, Flavobacterium devorans, and Lactobacillus casei) showed only minimal quantitative relationships with their groups. These results suggest that there may be significant variation in levels of similarity within microbial groups presently accorded equivalent taxonomic rank, and that some present distinctions among taxa, particularly at the generic level, cannot be confirmed on the basis of overall similarity.


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