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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2001 May;51(Pt 3):797-814.

The taxonomy of Streptomyces and related genera.

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  • 1Natural Products Drug Discovery Microbiology, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065, USA.


The streptomycetes, producers of more than half of the 10,000 documented bioactive compounds, have offered over 50 years of interest to industry and academia. Despite this, their taxonomy remains somewhat confused and the definition of species is unresolved due to the variety of morphological, cultural, physiological and biochemical characteristics that are observed at both the inter- and the intraspecies level. This review addresses the current status of streptomycete taxonomy, highlighting the value of a polyphasic approach that utilizes genotypic and phenotypic traits for the delimitation of species within the genus.

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