The usefulness of several characters in the differentiation of taxa included in the Actinomycetales is reviewed. Groups (taxa) are defined in each case not by a single character but by a combination of several. The colourless actinomycetes with white aerial mycelium include one group with straight sporophores and one with spiral. In green, violet and blue groups the solubility of pigments produced and the nature of the fructification are important. If the groups are established according to external morphological and cultural characters, then thespecies included in the groups are differentiated according to the physiological, biochemical and antimicrobial characters and the specificity of mutual antagonisms. Within the same group the species differ in the complex of characters. In the globisporus group 8 species are recognized, 7 species and 2 subspecies in the violet group, in the bluish white group, 2 species, in the brown-green group 2 species and in the fluorescent group 3 species.


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