Ninety genotypically characterized strains, including members of all 14 currently established genospecies, were studied by performing gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of their cellular fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). A total of 44 fatty acids and two alcohols were found in members of the genus . All 90 strains contained 12:0, 13:0 iso, 14:0, 15:0 iso 3OH, 16:0, 16:1 ω7, 17:0 iso, iso 17:1 ω9, summed feature 3 (16:1 iso I and/or 14:0 3OH), and summed feature 7 (18:1 ω7, 18:1 ω9, and/or 18:1 ω12), whereas all but one strain (99%) also contained 15:0 iso. Although the FAME profiles were very similar, minor quantitative variations could be used to differentiate phenospecies and/or hybridization groups. A cluster analysis of the mean data revealed five FAME clusters, which were compared with phenotypic and genotypic groups identified in the genus . Hybridization groups that constituted the complex, the complex, and the complex were basically grouped into distinct FAME clusters. The taxonomic positions of hybridization groups 7 and 11 in these clusters, however, remained unclear. All of our results were highly reproducible. A new database of FAME fingerprints was generated, and this database can be used for rapid identification of unknown aeromonads. Using a large set of well-characterized aeromonads, we demonstrated for the first time that gas-liquid chromatographic FAME analysis can be used to differentiate the majority of the phenospecies and/or hybridization groups in the genus .


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