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Colin Davidson c.davidson at biotech.cam.ac.uk
Fri Mar 17 13:24:17 EST 2000

Paul and Kimberly Liska <pliska at istar.ca> wrote in message
news:F4eA4.1066$xz1.20752 at cac1.rdr.news.psi.ca...
> Hello:
> I was wondering if anyone can help me find more information on the group
> Actinomycetes. I realize you can identify these bacteria using TSA
> soy agar). TSA however grows many types of bacteria. How can I identify
> Actinomyces on TSA?  Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
> Kim

It rather depends on what question you're asking, I can see several
interpretations in what you've asked.

The actinomycetes are a diverse group of gram poisitive filamentous
organisms, that are mostly aerobic and display a vast range of properties.
The are best known for their role in antibiotic production (especially genus

You can normally spot the actinomycetes by their filamentous growth form,
having hyphae much smaller than fungi.

Now, you then ask how you can identify Actinomyces. That's a specific genus
within the actinomycetes, and the identification is more complex. There are
a range of biochemical and molecular techniques used in this area of
taxonomy, and I suggest that you look into some of the publications of Prof.
Goodfellow at the University of Newcastle, U.K.

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