Summary: Taxonomic and ecological studies were done on 553 bacterial strains isolated in late summer 1975 from the Arctic Beaufort Sea. Numerical taxonomic analyses were employed using 300 features, assessing similarity by the Jaccard coefficient ( ) and clustering the strains using single linkage. Bacteria isolated at 4 °C (14 clusters) and 20 °C (13 clusters) were compared with previously described genera. The dominant bacteria in the Beaufort Sea appear to be different from those found in temperate marine environments. Orange-pigmented bacteria, which appear to be species, were dominant in surface water. Several taxonomic clusters of presumed species were found. Many of the Gram-negative rods were highly pleomorphic and could not be identified. Some isolates resembled morphologically the genus . Feature analyses showed evidence of adaptation to the environment. All bacterial isolates were psychrophilic or psychrotrophic. Nutritionally, most of the organisms required organic growth factors such as vitamins.


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