Species is the most basic taxonomic group and can be defined as a collection of bacterial strains that share many common physiologic and genetic features and as a group differ notably from other bacterial species. Occasionally, taxonomic subgroups within a species, called subspecies, are recognized. Furthermore, designations such as biotype, serotype, or genotype may be given to groups below the subspecies levels that share specific, but relatively minor, characteristics. Although these subgroups may have some taxonomic importance and occasional practical utility, their usefulness in diagnostic microbiology is usually limited.
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