Methods that are used for phenotypic characterization of prokaryotes include descriptions of such features as growth conditions, aerobic, anaerobic or CO2 requirements, the components of media upon which organisms are able to grow and colony and cell morphology. The API system (Biomerieux) for physiological testing generates profiles of characteristic reactions for the utilization of substrates or other features that provide information about the basic metabolic activities of the bacterial strains. A numerical profile generated from the test results is used for numerical analysis with in-house databases.

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