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J Bacteriol. 1972 Apr; 110(1): 402–429.
PMCID: PMC247423

Taxonomy of Aerobic Marine Eubacteria


Two hundred and eighteen strains of nonfermentative marine bacteria were submitted to an extensive morphological, physiological, and nutritional characterization. All the strains were gram-negative, straight or curved rods which were motile by means of polar or peritrichous flagella. A wide variety of organic substrates served as sole sources of carbon and energy. The strains differed extensively in their nutritional versatility, being able to utilize from 11 to 85 carbon compounds. Some strains had an extracellular amylase, gelatinase, lipase, or chitinase and were able to utilize n-hexadecane and to denitrify. None of the strains had a yellow, cell-associated pigment or a constitutive arginine dihydrolase system, nor were they able to hydrolyze cellulose or agar. The results of the physiological and nutritional characterization were submitted to a numerical analysis which clustered the strains into 22 groups on the basis of phenotypic similarities. The majority of these groups were separable by a large number of unrelated phenotypic traits. Analysis of the moles per cent guanine plus cytosine (GC) content in the deoxyribonucleic acid of representative strains indicated that the peritrichously flagellated groups had a GC content of 53.7 to 67.8 moles%; polarly flagellated strains had a GC content of 30.5 to 64.7 moles%. The peritrichously flagellated groups were assigned to the genus Alcaligenes. The polarly flagellated groups, which had a GC content of 43.2 to 48.0 moles%, were placed into a newly created genus, Alteromonas; groups which had a GC content of 57.8 to 64.7 moles% were placed into the genus Pseudomonas; and the remaining groups were left unassigned. Twelve groups were given the following designations: Alteromonas communis, A. vaga, A. macleodii, A. marinopraesens, Pseudomonas doudoroffi, P. marina, P. nautica, Alcaligenes pacificus, A. cupidus, A. venustus, and A. aestus. The problems of assigning species of aerobic marine bacteria to genera are discussed.

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Selected References

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