A qualitative and quantitative study of the fatty acid composition of selected micro-organisms

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lynch, Darrel L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Fatty acids; Enterobacteriaceae


Fatty acid content would appear to be an important parameter in the identification and numerical taxonomy of many microorganisms, especially when used with other qualifying biochemical and physical characteristics. A wide range of microorganisms were chosen for analyses. These included isolates of the same species and genus as well as members of many well defined groups -- such as the Enterobacteriaceae. Rather extraneous or unrelated microorganisms were included as future reference data. Extraction of fatty acids for subsequent methylation and analysis by gas chromatography was undertaken utilizing three extraction procedures. Data for each method are included. It was found that a direct methylation procedure of the bacteria was accurate, efficient and rapid. Fatty acids were found to be reliable indicators of microorganisms in group, generic, specific and strain identification. Other biochemical tests were especially valuable when used in conjunction with fatty acid profiles in identification and classification of the bacteria studied.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [44]-46)


46 pages




Northern Illinois University

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