One hundred reference strains representing all species belonging to the different phylogenetic lineages of the viridans streptococci were examined by means of one-dimensional whole-organism protein electrophoresis. For most of the species examined, multiple strains characterized by DNA-DNA hybridization were included and, wherever described, representatives of different biochemical variants were analysed. Most species were clearly differentiated. The data support the viewpoint that members of the group constitute a single species and indicate that biovar 2 is a heterogeneous taxon comprising strains from several streptococcal species.


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