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J Microbiol Methods. 2000 Mar;40(1):1-9.

Mycolic acids from Rhodococcus, Gordonia, and Dietzia.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriology, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, Japan.


The mycolic acids from 11 species of Rhodococcus, seven species of Gordonia, and one species of Dietzia were analyzed using capillary gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GLC/MS). All strains tested in this study were divided into three groups according to the degree of double bonds and the average carbon number (Av.Nc.) of their mycolic acids. The genus Gordonia belongs to the first group possessing an Av.Nc. in the upper 50s and 60s with 0 to 5 double bonds. Some Rhodococcus species possessed Av.Nc. in the 40s with a variety of distributions of polyunsaturated fatty acids from 0 to 4. The rest of the Rhodococcus species and the genus Dietzia possessed Av.Nc. in the 30s with saturated fatty acids. We previously reported on Nocardia strains whose Av.Nc. were in the 50s. Considering the identification of mycolic acid-containing Actinomycetales at the generic level, the Av.Nc. proved to be useful as a means of differentiating the genera Rhodococcus, Gordonia and Nocardia. The genus Dietzia was found to have its own characteristic constitution of mycolic acid molecular species. The mycolic acids from D. maris 58001T were characterized by an almost equal amount of constituents of even- and odd-numbered carbon chains, whereas the major components of mycolic acids in all other strains had even-numbered carbon chains. Another characteristic of Dietzia was some even-numbered mycolic acids which contained odd-numbered straight chains with odd-numbered alpha-branches. These characteristics indicated that Dietzia might possess a novel fatty acid biosynthesis system.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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