Several strains previously classified as group III staphylococci, by the scheme of Schleifer and Kocur, and numerous strains isolated from animal and human skin that appeared to be related to group III strains were subjected to a taxonomic study. As a result of this study, all group III and related strains were placed in the newly proposed species This species can be differentiated from all other staphylococci on the basis of colony morphology, cell wall peptidoglycan, acid production from cellobiose and usually from fucose under aerobic conditions, and a combination of other characteristics. Thirty-five strains that produced large colonies, usually moderate to light anaerobic growth in thioglycolate, and acid from galactose, sucrose, glycerol, and often from melezitose were placed in the type subspecies, subsp. Nine strains that produced very small, unpigmented colonies, usually no detectable anaerobic growth in thioglycolate, and acid from sucrose and often from galactose, glycerol, lactose, and raffinose were placed in the subspecies subsp. The type strains of these subspecies are ATCC 29062 and ATCC 29070, respectively. A group of three strains that produced relatively small, unpigmented colonies, moderate anaerobic growth in thioglycolate, and acid from glycerol but failed to produce acid from sucrose, melezitose, raffinose and usually galactose may also deserve subspecies status. A summary of the character variation found in and in other novobiocin-resistant species and a simplified scheme for distinguishing and its subspecies are included in this paper.


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