A total of 106 actinomycete strains representing 40 genera were studied to gain a better understanding of their intra- and intergeneric relationships by examining the types of acyl groups on the muramyl residues of the peptidoglycans in a glycolate test. The glycolyl type was found in about 43% of the actinomycete strains examined. These strains were distributed in the following two characteristic taxa: the actinoplanetes and their relatives, including species of the genera , and ; and the nocardioforms and species of the related genera , and Only glycolyl type bacteria were found to be present among the strains of these genera tested, except for a few doubtful strains. In contrast, the acetyl type was found extensively in bacteria belonging to the families , and and other taxa. The pattern of acyl type distribution among the actinomycetes correlates very well with the cell wall chemotype sensu Lechevalier and Lechevalier; that is, the chemotype I and III genera were all acetyl type taxa, the chemotype II genera were glycolyl type taxa, and the chemotype IV genera were split into a glycolyl, mycolate-containing group and an acetyl, non-mycolate group. We discuss the idea that combination of both the acyl type system and the cell wall chemotype system should provide a more useful tool for taxonomy of members of the order


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