Bergey’s Manual® of Systematic Bacteriology

pp 119-166

The Road Map to the Manual

  • George M. Garrity
  • , John G. Holt

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The Second Edition of Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology represents a major departure from the First Edition, as well as from the Eighth and Ninth Editions of the Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, in that the organization of content follows a phylogenetic framework, based on analysis of the nucleotide sequence of the ribosomal small subunit RNA, rather than a phenotypic structure. The Eighth and Ninth Editions of the Determinative Manual and the First Edition of the Systematic Manual were organized in a non-hierarchical scheme because information about higher taxa was insufficient for construction of a formal hierarchical classification, such as those used in all the previous editions. Instead, the genera were organized into phenotypic groupings, e.g., the Gram-positive cocci, and these groupings were called Parts, Sections, or Groups. By the Ninth Edition of the Determinative Manual, which was based on the information included in the Systematic Manual, there were 35 separate phenotypic groupings.