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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1998 Jul;48 Pt 3:859-77.

Delimiting the genus Staphylococcus through description of Macrococcus caseolyticus gen. nov., comb. nov. and Macrococcus equipercicus sp. nov., and Macrococcus bovicus sp. no. and Macrococcus carouselicus sp. nov.

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North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7614, USA.


Four species of the newly proposed genus Macrococcus, namely macrococcus caseolyticus gen. nov., comb. nov. (formerly Staphylococcus caseolyticus Schleifer, Kilpper-Bälz, Fischer, Faller and Endl 1982, 19VP), Macrococcus equipercicus sp. nov., Macrococcus bovicus sp. nov. Macrococcus carouselicus sp. nov., are described on the basis of a phylogenetic analysis comparing 16S rRNA sequences, DNA-DNA liquid hybridization, DNA base composition, normalized ribotype patterns, macrorestriction pattern analysis and estimation of genome size using PFGE, cell wall composition, phenotypic characteristics and plasmid profiles. Compared with their closet relatives, members of the genus Staphylococcus, these organisms demonstrated significantly lower 16S rRNA sequence similarities (93.4-95.3%), higher DNA G+C content (38-45 mol%), absence of cell wall teichoic acids (with the possible exception of M. caseolyticus), unique ribotype pattern types and macrorestriction patterns, smaller genome size (approx. 1500-1800 kb) and generally larger Gram-stained cell size (1.1-2.5% microns in diameter). Macrococci can be distinguished from most species of staphylococci (except Staphylococcus sciuri, Staphylococcus vitulus and Staphylococcus lentus) by thier oxidase activity. The four Macrococcus species can be distinguished from one another on the basis of DNA-DNA hybridization, ribotype pattern types, macrorestriction patterns and their phenotypic properties, including colony morphology, cell morphology, haemolysins, Staphy Latex agglutination, acid production from a variety of carbohydrates, acetoin production, nitrate reduction, aesculin hydrolysis, and DNase and urease activities. The type species is M. equipercicus. The type strains of M. equipercicus, M. caseolyticus, M. bovicus and M. carouselicus are ATTCC 51831T (= DD 9350T) ATCC 13548T (= TDD 4508T) (Schleifer et al. 1982, ATCC 51825T (= DD 4516T) and ATCC 51828T (= DD 9348), respectively.

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