SUMMARY: The use of pyrolysis mass spectrometry in the characterization and identification of species was studied. Fifty-three strains of four closely related groups, and “”, were used in a study of both sporulated and non-sporulated cultures. Pyrolysis was carried out using a Pyromass 8-80, a novel pyrolysis mass spectrometer specifically designed for fingerprinting complex samples. The pyrolysis data obtained were analysed using multivariate statistical techniques. All four groups could be differentiated using data from non-sporulated cultures but the data from sporulated cultures did not separate from “” or In contrast, was more clearly differentiated from the other three species using these data. Culture maturity affected the mass spectra obtained from non-sporulated cultures.


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