PMID: 5903098Jan 1, 1966

Cyst formation and poly-beta-hydroxybutyric acid accumulation in Azotobacter

Journal of Bacteriology
L H Stevenson, M D Socolofsky


Stevenson, L. H. (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge), and M. D. Socolofsky. Cyst formation and poly-beta-hydroxybutyric acid accumulation in Azotobacter. J. Bacteriol. 91:304-310. 1966.-The relationship between cyst formation and the accumulation of poly-beta-hydroxybutyric acid (PHB) in Azotobacter vinelandii (A. agilis) was investigated. After various periods of growth, the cells were harvested, and the amount of PHB and the extent of encystment were determined. The polymer content of the cells increased sharply and reached a maximum on the 2nd day of growth followed by a gradual decline as the culture aged. At maximal accumulation, the PHB content was 35% of the dry weight, and the PHB-nitrogen ratio was 11:1. Those substrates promoting the highest polymer content (glucose, butanol) also promoted 95 to 100% encystment. Manipulation of the carbon and nitrogen supply in the medium indicated that both the maximal PHB content and the extent of cyst formation could be controlled. A direct correlation was noted between the amount of polymer accumulated and the percentage of cysts formed, indicating a possible role of PHB as a carbon or energy source, or both, for the encystment process.


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