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J Appl Microbiol. 2002;93(1):77-95.

Phenotypic study by numerical taxonomy of strains belonging to the genus Aeromonas.

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1
Departamento de Microbiología y Ecología, Edificio de Investigación, Universitat de València, Burjasot, Spain.

Abstract

AIMS:

This study was undertaken to cluster and identify a large collection of Aeromonas strains.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Numerical taxonomy was used to analyse phenotypic data obtained on 54 new isolates taken from water, fish, snails, sputum and 99 type and reference strains. Each strain was tested for 121 characters but only the data for 71 were analysed using the 'SSM' and 'SJ' coefficients, and the UPGMA clustering algorithm. At SJ values of > or = 81.6% the strains clustered into 22 phenons which were identified as Aer. jandaei, Aer. hydrophila, Aer. encheleia, Aer. veronii biogroup veronii, Aer. trota, Aer. caviae, Aer. eucrenophila, Aer. ichthiosmia, Aer. sobria, Aer. allosaccharophila, Aer. media, Aer. schubertii and Aer. salmonicida. The species Aer. veronii biogroup sobria was represented by several clusters which formed two phenotypic cores, the first related to reference strain CECT 4246 and the second related to CECT 4835. A good correlation was generally observed among this phenotypic clustering and previous genomic and phylogenetic data. In addition, three new phenotypic groups were found, which may represent new Aeromonas species.

CONCLUSIONS:

The phenetic approach was found to be a necessary tool to delimitate and identify the Aeromonas species.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Valuable traits for identifying Aeromonas as well as the possible existence of new Aeromonas species or biotypes are indicated.

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