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J Gen Microbiol. 1983 Apr;129(4):1075-81.

Lipid composition in the classification of the butyric acid-producing clostridia.


An examination of 20 strains of butyric acid-producing Clostridium species for phospholipid class compositions, plasmalogen content, and acyl and alk-l-enyl chains showed that the deoxyribonucleic acid homology groups I (Clostridium butyricum) and II (Clostridium beijerinckii) could be distinguished by their lipid compositions. The phospholipids of C. butyricum strains had ethanolamine as the major nitrogenous lipid polar head-group moiety, more octadecenoate plus C19-cyclopropane than hexadecenoate plus C17-cyclopropane acyl chains, and the predominant alk-l-enyl chain was C18-monounsaturated. Clostridium beijerinckii strains had N-methylethanolamine plus ethanolamine in phospholipid head-groups, more hexadecenoate plus C17-cyclopropane than octadecenoate plus C19-cyclopropane acyl chains, and the major alk-l-enyl chain was C16-saturated. Three species falling outside the two homology groups Clostridium fallax, Clostridium pseudofallax and Clostridium acetobutylicum had ethanolamine as the major phospholipid base, but these species could be distinguished from C. butyricum by their acyl and alk-l-enyl chain compositions. The lipid composition of Clostridium pasteurianum is even more distinct.

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