Author(s): Rubinovitz C, Gutnick DL, Rosenberg E
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Abstract When exponentially growing cultures of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus RAG-1 or RAG-92 were either treated with inhibitors of protein synthesis or starved for a required amino acid, there was a stimulation in the production of emulsan, an extracellular polyanionic emulsifier. Emulsan synthesis in the presence of chloramphenicol was dependent on utilizable sources of carbon and nitrogen and was inhibited by cyanide or azide or anaerobic conditions. Radioactive tracer experiments indicated that the enhanced production of emulsan after the addition of chloramphenicol was due to both the release of material synthesized before the addition of the antibiotic (40\%) and de novo synthesis of the polymer (60\%). Chemical analysis of RAG-1 cells demonstrated large amounts of polymeric amino sugars; it was estimated that cell-associated emulsan comprised about 15\% of the dry weight of growing cells. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that a polymeric precursor of emulsan accumulates on the cell surface during the exponential growth phase; in the stationary phase or during inhibition of protein synthesis, the polymer is released as a potent emulsifier.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology