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Bergey's Manual -- A Guide on How to Use: Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology

This guide provides students with a overview of how to use the Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology and the Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology

Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology 9th edition

The purpose of this manual is to identify bacteria and the identification schemes presented in the manual are not classification schemes. The manual is arranged by phenotypic information and intended to help identify bacteria that have already been described and cultured.

Once you have completed all of the morphological, cultural characteristic, and differential tests for your unknown organism, use a dichotomous key to identify a possible genus for your organism. Use the list of possible unknown organisms to determine if there is more than one possible species for the genus. Then use this manual to identify the bacteria.

How to Use the Manual

Using the “Contents” Pages (pages ix-xvii at the beginning of the manual)

  1. Determine the phylogenetic tree for the bacterium of interest.
  2. Go to the Contents pages at the beginning of the manual and look for the Group for your bacterium.
  3. Under each Group you will find a list of the Genera that belong to the Group.

*Group 17   GRAM-POSITIVE COCCI................................................527
                    Genus Aerococcus....527     Genus Peptococcus................530
                    Genus Coprococcus..527     Genus Peptostreptococcus.....530

Using the “Index of Scientific Names of Bacteria” at the back of the manual

  1. Locate the genus and species of a particular bacterium.
  2. The location is the page number that is in bold.

Where to Find More "How to Use" Information

Read Chapter 1, "Using This Manual" (p.1) in the Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, 9th edition.


*Holt JG, Krieg NR, Sneath PHA, Staley JT, Williams ST, editors. 1994. Bergey's manual of determinative bacteriology. 9th ed. Baltimore (MD): Williams & Wilkins.