Summary: Forty-five strains classified in the family Neisseriaceae were analysed for wax esters by gas—liquid chromatography. The amounts and types of waxes varied between the taxa. Waxes were not detected in 16 strains of ‘true neisseriae’ (genus ) or in two strains of , but they were found in all ‘false neisseriae’, in all species of except , in five out of 10 strains of , and in all strains of a group of psychrophilic, oxidase-positive organisms. The chain lengths of the wax esters ranged from C to C, with C predominating. In all taxa, esters with even numbers of carbon atoms constituted 70 to 100% of the total. Saturated, mono-unsaturated and di-unsaturated waxes were found. Acinetobacter strains were characterized by large amounts (30 to 98%) of di-unsaturated wax esters; such waxes did not exceed 8% in the ‘false neisseriae’ or spp. Waxes of strains belonging to the psychrophilic, oxidase-positive group generally resembled those found in Wax esters with odd numbers of carbon atoms were abundant in (29%), (15%) and in the psychrophilic group (19 to 28%); long-chain esters (C or above) were characteristic of (30%) and one strain of (26%).


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