Summary: Fifty-five strains received as or as catalase-negative coryneform bacteria from the vagina together with 61 marker cultures were subjected to numerical phenetic analyses using 149 unit characters. The data were examined using the simple matching ( ), Jaccard ( ) and pattern ( ) coefficients and clustering was achieved using the average linkage algorithm. Cluster composition was not markedly affected by the coefficient used or by test error, estimated at 6.5 %. The strains formed a tight cluster which was only distantly related to representatives of the genera and but shared a high overall affinity to unclassified catalase-negative coryneforms which formed a discrete taxon, cluster 9. The strains could be distinguished from the related strains in cluster 9 by several unrelated phenotypic characters.

Using the S1 endonuclease assay, DNA-DNA hybridizations were performed with representative strains from the numerical study as well as with reference strains of and was found to be a genotypically legitimate group and its DNA showed little homology with DNA from the marker strains tested. The DNA base composition of was 42 to 44 mol % guanine plus cytosine. A new genus should be created to incorporate strains known as or The name proposed by Greenwood&Pickett (1979) is supported.


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