The present study intended to characterize the phenotypic and genetic diversity of Brazilian isolates of Chromobacterium violaceum
from aquatic environments within the Amazon region. Nineteen isolates showed morphological properties of C. violaceum
and the majority grew at 44°C. Low temperatures, in contrast, showed to be inhibitory to their growth, as eleven isolates did not grow at 10ºC and nine did not produce pigmentation, clearly indicating an inhibition of their metabolism. The largest variation among isolates was observed in the citrate test (Simmons), in which 12 isolates were positive, and in the oxidation/fermentation of sucrose, with six positives isolates. Chloramphenicol, gentamicin and sulfonamides efficiently inhibited bacterial growth. Amplified products of the recA gene were digested with Hind
II or Pst
I, which produced three or four restriction fragments patterns, respectively. The combined analysis arranged the isolates into six genospecies. The higher diversity observed in Belém (genotypes C, D, E and F) may be a consequence of intense human occupation, pollution of the aquatic environment or due to the higher diversity of the environments sampled in that region. In conclusion, a high level of genetic and phenotypic diversity was observed, and four new genospecies were described.