The genus name was established within the family in 1978. is the only species described thus far within this genus, and the name has been accepted by usage in the scientific community for strains previously known as isolates differ in their abilities to ferment trehalose and exhibit variable lysine and ornithine decarboxylase patterns, emphasizing the phenotypic heterogeneity within this species. Previous genetic studies failed to reveal separate entities within the genus . We observed some trehalose-fermenting strains with different lysine and ornithine decarboxylase patterns. Two strains were lysine and ornithine positive, 3 were lysine positive and ornithine negative, and 29 were lysine negative and ornithine positive. These strains and 25 non-trehalose-fermenting strains with different lysine and ornithine decarboxylase patterns were investigated. DNA-DNA hybridization studies and phenotypic characterizations revealed that can be separated into three DNA relatedness groups and seven biogroups. Strains from DNA relatedness group 1 were trehalose negative, and strains from DNA relatedness groups 2 and 3 were trehalose positive. One biogroup from DNA relatedness group 2 was phenotypically indistinguishable from DNA relatedness group 3. On the basis of these studies, we propose that be subdivided into subsp. (type strain ATCC 25830) containing biogroups A, B, C, and D (DNA relatedness group 1) and subsp. (type strain 8103-85; =ATCC 49948) containing biogroups E, F, and G (DNA relatedness groups 2 and 3).


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