Fatty acid composition was assessed for 31 pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains phenotypically related to and isolated in eastern Canada. The profiles of these strains consisted of 12 to 17 fatty acids, most of which were saturated iso and anteiso acids. The 31 strains were clustered into two groups within a Euclidian distance of 25. Members in the first group were characterized by the predominance in their profile of the 16:0 acid palmitate. The second group was split into two subgroups at a Euclidian distance of 12. The 15:0 anteiso acid was the predominant fatty acid in strains of the first subgroup. Three acids (15:0 iso, 15:0 anteiso, and 16:0), each representing about 20% of the total fatty acid profile, characterized strains of the second subgroup. The protein profiles of some of those strains were also compared, and the genetic relatedness among the strains was estimated by DNA-DNA hybridization. Hybridization values suggested that two genetically diverse groups of strains are included in No correlation was established between fatty acid profiles and genetic clusters. No distinctive characteristics were associated with pathogenic strains.


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