Representatives of 13 species of were examined using a small-scale procedure for the sequential extraction of isoprenoid quinones and polar lipids. Menaquinones were the only isoprenoid quinones found in the 77 test strains which were divided into three groups based upon the predominant isoprenologue detected: (i) subsp. subsp. and subsp. contained unsaturated menaquinones with six isoprene units; (ii) subsp. and contained unsaturated menaquinones with seven isoprene units and (iii) contained unsaturated menaquinones with eight isoprene units and varying amounts of the corresponding lower isoprenologue. All of the organisms contained very similar polar lipid patterns consisting of diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, β-gentiobiosyl diacylglycerol and a number of glycolipids and phospholipids. One of the glycolipids was chromatographically indistinguishable from β-gentiotriosyl diacylglycerol. Lysylphosphatidylglycerol was a major component in and but was usually present in minor amounts in the coagulase-negative strains. The polar lipid data underline the homogeneity of the genus and distinguish staphylococci from aerobic, Gram-positive cocci and from the phylogenetically related aerobic, endospore-forming bacteria. Menaquinone composition can also be used to separate staphylococci from other aerobic, Gram-positive cocci.


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