SUMMARY: A numerical taxonomic study was performed on named strains of and some possibly related bacteria using 143 unit characters covering a wide range of properties. The strains fell into six main clusters: (A) ; (B) ; (C) ; (D) and mainly aerobic coryne-bacteria; (E) ; (F) mainly

The genus contained three subgroups corresponding to (I) , (2) and (3) non-haemolytic listeria strains. did not appear to be sufficiently distinct from to warrant separate species status. The genus was quite separate from the genus was related to both the genera and but formed a separate phenon that could appropriately be given generic rank. There were four distinct subgroups amongst the streptococci examined. strains appeared as a distinct phenon related to and the streptococci. The lactobacilli grouped into four phena largely corresponding to the subgenera and and to the species

Clusters A, B, and C displayed a relatively close association to each other and it is recommended that all be included in the family Lactobacillaceae.


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