Summary: The volatile fatty acids produced in culture medium by 357 strains belonging to eight species were determined quantitatively by GLC. The resultant chromatograms were submitted to discriminant analysis. Stable discriminant functions were computed and included in a computerized identification system which also involved some distinctive volatile fatty acids regarded as two-state qualitative characters (presence or absence characters). Using a test group of 249 strains belonging to the studied species, more than 89% of the identifications made by this system agreed with those made by conventional biochemical methods despite the relatively poor differentiation between and When the individual species within the matrices were weighted with prior probabilities reflecting results given by two simple biochemical tests, 96% of the 249 strains were correctly identified.


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