We used DNA-rRNA hybridization, DNA base composition, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of whole-cell proteins, DNA-DNA hybridization, numerical analysis of phenotypic features, and immunotyping to study the taxonomy of the genus . The relationships of this genus to and a group of clinical isolates (E. Falsen group 10 [EF 10]) were studied. Our DNA and rRNA hybridization results indicate that the genus consists of at least the following five genotypic groups: (i) , (ii) , (iii) , (iv) and a number of EF 10 strains, and (v) other EF 10 strains, several unnamed clinical isolates, and some misnamed strains of and subsp. . The existence of these five groups was confirmed by the results of immunotyping and protein gel electrophoresis. A numerical analysis of morphological, auxanographic, and biochemical data for the same organisms revealed the existence of three large phena. Two of these phena ( and ) correspond to two of the genotypic groups. The third phenon contains strains belonging to the other three genotypic groups, including most EF 10 strains and the type strains of and . The strains belonging to the third phenon were all incorporated into , and we propose that the use of the name should be discontinued. Emended descriptions of the genus and are presented.


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