Cellular fatty acid profiles were determined for species in 33 genera of anaerobic gram-negative bacilli and were confirmed to be a useful taxonomic tool. Most of the genera could be differentiated by visual inspection of their profiles. The three genus pairs that were most difficult to distinguish visually ( and and , and and ) and the species of these genera were differentiated by the MIDI (Microbial ID, Inc.) identification system. Similarities in cellular fatty acid profiles may be correlated with similarities in other phenotypic characteristics, but more often there is no other obvious phenotypic relationship. Although medium components may not change the constituents detected or the ratios among the constituents detected for some species, identical medium changes may result in vast differences in the profiles obtained with other species. Thus, if a worker wishes to compare profiles of various taxa, it is essential that the same cultural and analytical conditions be used.


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