reliable methods for bacterial identification?

Mimi Harrington MHarrington at sidney.ars.usda.gov
Mon Sep 24 10:18:43 EST 2001


Hello,

I am interested in the most accurate means to identify bacteria. Part of my research involves the identification of soil-borne bacteria. I understand the limitations of using sequences as a technique and know in other disciplines (mycology) you can only get "so" close. How does this compare, however, to using fatty acid profiles and/or biochemical tests for bacteria?
Which systems/techniques are most reliable? Currently, I am using the  MIDI sherlock system (fatty acid analysis by gas chromatography) but would like to know if there is something better. 
Can anyone give me first hand information about systems such as Vitek or biolog? 
Thank you for your time and consideration. I welcome all information.

Respectfully yours,


F.A. Harrington

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