The Burkholderia cepacia complex is a group of closely related species with conflicting biological properties. Triggered by the devastating effect of pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis patients, the scientific community generated an unusually large amount of taxonomic data for these bacteria during the past 15 years. This review presents the polyphasic, multilocus and genomic methodology used for the classification and identification of these bacteria. The current state-of-the-art demonstrates that present day taxonomists can replace traditional DNA-DNA hybridizations for species level demarcation and 16S rRNA sequence analysis for studying phylogeny by superior whole genome sequence-based parameters within the framework of polyphasic taxonomic studies.
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