The fatty acid profiles of 59 type strains representing genera, species, and serovars belonging to the family were investigated by using gas-liquid chromatography of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) derivatives prepared from washed leptospires. The interstrain differences of the gas-liquid chromatography FAME profiles were quantified by performing a linear regression analysis in which we compared the FAME profiles of pairs of strains and expressed the results as correlation coefficients. Leptospiral strains could be differentiated into 17 FAME relatedness groups, which were characterized by both stringent similarities within a group and sharp differences between groups. In each group, a strain was selected as a FAME reference strain. FAME reference strains can be used as keys for a chemotaxonomic phenotypic classification of strains belonging to the family .


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