A collection of gram-negative, asporulating organisms, including corroding bacilli, was divided into four groups on the basis of a gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of the esters of their cellular fatty acids. Group I contains strains which produce hexadecanoicand octadecenoic acids as major constituents, with a lower percentage of 9-hexadecenoic acid and relatively small amounts of dodecanoic, tetradecanoic, and octadecanoic acids. Group II strains produce a large amount of octadecenoic acid and small amounts of hexadecanoic, dodecanoic, tetradecanoic, and octadecanoic acids. Strains placed in group III produced a large amount of an unidentified fatty acid, which appears to be unique to this group. Other fatty acids, including hexadecanoic, octadecanoic, and two additional unidentified acids, were produced in small amounts. Group IV contains strains which produce high contents of 9-hexadecenoic and hexadecanoic acids and a small amount of tetradecanoic acid.The facultatively anaerobic corroding organisms, including Eikenella corrodens (Eiken) Jackson and Goodman, fall into group I, whereas group II contains anaerobic strainswhich are distinct from each other as well as from the Bacteroides strains included in this study.


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