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J Appl Bacteriol. 1993 Sep;75(3):259-68.

Numerical classification and identification of Acinetobacter genomic species.

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Fachgebiet Hygiene, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany.


A total of 211 Acinetobacter strains (representing all currently recognized genomic species) were tested for 329 biochemical characters. Overall similarities of all strains were determined for 145 characters by numerical taxonomic techniques, the UPGMA algorithm and the S(SM)) and the S(J) coefficients as measures of similarity. Seven clusters (two or more strains) and three unclustered strains were recovered at a similarity level of 80.0% (S(SM). At this level a complete correspondence between phenotypic cluster and genomic species was found only for genomic species 12 (Ac. radioresistens). At higher similarity levels (84.0% to 84.6% (S(SM)), however, several subclusters were found, each representing a single genomic species. An exception were the strains belonging to the genetically closely related species of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-baumannii complex. These were recovered scattered in several subclusters. The degree of genomic relatedness between some DNA groups correlated with phenotypic similarities, especially for DNA group 8 (Ac. Iwoffii) and 15 of Tjernberg and Ursing, and for DNA group 4 (Ac. haemolyticus) and 6. For the majority of genomic species, two identification matrices were constructed consisting of 22 and 10 diagnostic characters, respectively. The correct identification rates for the matrices were 98.0% (22 tests) and 90.8% (10 tests) taking a Willcox probability > 0.9. For unambiguous identification of some genomic species, however, additional methods (preferably DNA-DNA hybridization or ribotyping) should be used.

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