SUMMARY: Ninety-six extremely halophilic, non-alkaliphilic cocci were isolated from several salterns in different geographical areas of Spain. These strains, together with seven reference strains of the genus , were characterized by means of 114 phenotypic features, the results being analysed by numerical techniques using the simple matching () coefficient and the unweighted pair group clustering (UPGMA) algorithm. At the 70% similarity level, four phenons were obtained. Phenon A contained 87 strains, including all the reference strains, and was considered to comprise members of the only named species of the genus Phenons B and C, which included five and seven strains respectively, showed greater metabolic versatility than phenon A. The four strains belonging to phenon D were significantly different from the other phenons in that they produced acid from glucose and were able to use most of the organic compounds tested. The results indicate that there is phenotypic diversity among the members of the genus and that phenon D may constitute a new taxon.


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