The Subcommittee for Taxonomy of Methanogenic Bacteria has agreed in principle on minimum requirements for the description of new taxa of methanogenic bacteria. These requirements, as well as methods for determining specified characteristics, are indicated here and are proposed as minimal standards for the taxonomic description of new taxa of methanogens. The specified phenotypic characteristics are often not sufficient to distinguish among taxa or to determine the phylogenetic placement of a taxon, and, in these cases, additional chemotaxonomic, molecular, or genetic data may be required. The placement of a new taxon should be consistent with phylogeny, usually based on tests such as nucleic acid sequencing or cataloging studies or on protein fingerprinting. Suggestions are welcome for the improvement of these requirements, which are tentative until given final approval by the International Committee on Systematic Bacteriology.


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