Ninety-eight strains of various origins were examined by numerical analysis of 177 phenotypic features and by gel electrophoresis of soluble proteins. was phenotypically quite different from and . An extensive phenotypic description and a minimal description of the genus are given. The genus contained two groups, A and B, by both techniques. Phenons A and B could be differentiated only by the requirement for nicotinic acid and by their electrophoretic patterns. Protein electrophoresis showed clearly that strains are genetically stable over several decades. The strains of all five subspecies of cited in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names (Skerman et al., Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. :225–420, 1980) were distributed randomly over the phenotypic and electrophoretic clusters and subclusters, and the type strains of the subspecies all fell in phenon B. We conclude that the single species should not be further divided into subspecies.


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