SUMMARY: The spectrum of specific activities and the electrophoretic mobilities of esterases produced by 550 strains of belonging to 36 species and subclassified into six groups (group 1, and ; group 2, genus and genus ; group 3, genus and genus ; group 4, genus and ; group 5, genus , genus and genus ; and group 6, genus ) were analysed by acrylamide/agarose gel electrophoresis using standardized methods for staining and mobility comparisons. Nineteen types of esterase were defined by their respective esterase specific-activity profile (ESAP). A multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) of the ESAP data enabled 82% of the strains in the 36 species to be correctly classified. In each group, the species were clearly delineated after MCA on both ESAP and electrophoretic mobility data. In addition, the smallest number of characters providing species identification of strains by esterase polymorphism was identified by means of a binary segmentation tree technique.


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