Summary: The menaquinones of 59 actinomycetes representing and related taxa were examined by mass spectrometry and the results compared with those of an earlier numerical phenetic survey. The and strains contained complex mixtures of partially saturated menaquinones with nine isoprene units with the hexa-and/or octahydrogenated components predominating. The detection of essentially similar menaquinones in representatives of the genera and is consistent with the suggestion that these taxa be reduced to synonyms of the genus The recovery of markedly different menaquinones from representatives of and , together with chemical data from previous studies, clearly show that these taxa should not be associated with the cluster-group, contrary to the results of the numerical phenetic survey. Streptomycetes can also be distinguished from other actinomycetes including those strains of lacking mycolic acids. The results show that menaquinone composition is of value in both the classification and the identification of streptomycetes. Indeed, the present data suggest that the minimum description of the genus should include information on menaquinone composition.


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