Following the introduction of new statutes agreed at the Xth International Congress for Microbiology held in Mexico City in 1972, the International Committee for Systematic Bacteriology has requested subcommittees on taxonomy to propose minimal standards for the descriptions of new taxa. Consequently a proposal for minimal standards for the descriptions of new species and biotypes of the genus Meyer and Shaw (22) has been prepared. As procedures recommended by the Subcommittee on Taxonomy of the Genus (34) for subdivision within the genus have been employed successfully for a number of years, present emphasis has been placed on the minimal standards for recognition of an organism as a member of the genus. This aspect is particularly important as it is now recognized that a number of genetically unrelated gram-negative organisms bear a superficial resemblance to members of the genus To avoid confusion and misidentification it is essential that a comprehensive system for identification at the generic level should be adopted. Recommendations for this are contained in the present proposal along with suggestions for minimal requirements for subdivision within the genus. Comments will be welcomed so that eventually this paper can be used as a basis for preparing a document covering full details of techniques and procedures.


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