Summary: The classification and, therefore, identification of has been based upon its ability to produce a violet pigment. Although the organism may yield non-pigmented variants when subcultured on artificial media, the isolation of non-pigmented strains from pathological tissues or from nature had not been reported. With a method established for the identification of regardless of violet pigmentation, non-pigmented strains were isolated from nature. The presence of non-pigmented strains of in nature is of significance to taxonomy and clinical bacteriology. Pigmentation cannot be held as an essential characteristic of the definition of the genus and gives credence to the suspicion of Sneath (1960, 1966) that the genus is not a natural one. Non-pigmented strains may have been isolated from clinical material but wrongly identified as belonging to other genera of non-pigmented Gram-negative bacilli and regarded as not being pathogenic.


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