The fatty acid content of bacterial cells is relatively constant within a taxonomic group, therefore utilizing gas chromatography (GC) allows the identification of individual genera. However, this technique requires the use of sophisticated equipment, lengthy preparation of the cultures to enable their analysis, and careful control of media composition as this will impact on the speciation.
Most systems are computer-controlled and are able to generate individual profiles for common isolates in a particular environment. Available commercial systems are expensive and may not be considered robust for routine use.
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