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J Appl Bacteriol. 1990 Jun;68(6):601-18.

Classification of the spoilage flora of fish, with special reference to Shewanella putrefaciens.

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Department of Applied Microbiology, University of Lund, Sweden.


One hundred and fifty-nine Gram-negative strains isolated from refrigerated fish, taken from the Baltic Sea or Swedish inland waters, together with 32 reference strains of Shewanella, Pseudomonas, Aeromonas and Alcaligenes, were phenotypically classified using 124 unit characters. Data were processed by the Simple Matching (SSM) and Jaccard (SJ) coefficients, and unweighted pair group algorithm with arithmetic averages. Fourteen clusters were defined at the 75% SJ similarity level which correspond to the SSM level of 86%. SJ-based clusters containing field strains were designated Pseudomonas fragi (cluster 1; 31% of the field strains), Ps. lundensis (cluster 2; 2% of the field strains), Ps. fluorescens biovar III (cluster 4; 4% of the field strains), Ps. putida biovar A (cluster 5; 3% of the field strains), Ps. fluorescens/putida (clusters 3 and 6; 6% of the field strains), Psychrobacter (clusters 8 and 9; 3% of the field strains), Shewanella putrefaciens (clusters 10, 11, 12 and 13; 44% of the field strains) and Aer. sobria (cluster 14; 6% of the field strains, all isolated from fresh water fish). Each field strain represented the spoilage flora of refrigerated fish at a total aerobic count of about 10(8) cfu/g. Phenotypic characteristics of major clusters are given. The four S. putrefaciens clusters may be separated by key characteristics. Shewanella putrefaciens ATCC 8071T and reference strains from sources other than fish, did not group in any of the clusters. The mol % guanine + cytosine content was on average 47.6 for cluster 10, and 45.3 for cluster 13.

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