The cellular fatty acid compositions of 100 strains representing 10 different species of were analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography. Results indicated that the fatty acid compositions of the various species were qualitatively similar with the exception of that of , which contained a C fatty acid component. The species differed quantitatively with respect to relative percentages of fatty acid components. The major fatty acids were C, C, C, C, and C. and can be differentiated in most cases from all of the other species studied by the presence of significantly higher percentages of C and C fatty acids, respectively. Other species or groups of related species could also be separated on the basis of combinations of fatty acid components. These findings corroborate the newly proposed scheme of classification of the staphylococci, but the particular usefulness of gas-liquid chromatography of fatty acids for the identification of clinically significant, coagulase-negative staphylococci from humans is primarily limited to and possibly . However, application of the method may be useful in clarifying further the phenetic relationships of certain species and may have some ecological value.


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