Early and recent literature on the nomenclature and sources of lactic streptococci in nature is reviewed. Evidence is presented in favor of including Streptococcus diacetilactis as a recognized species in the group N streptococci. Despite many research efforts, the natural habitat of Streptococcus cremoris remains unknown. An appeal for more ecological studies on these important bacteria is made.

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Author notes

1Technical Paper No. 3150, Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. Supported in part by Public Health Service Research Grant FD00062 from the Food and Drug Administration.

2Present address: Dairy Science Department, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84321.