and closely related corynebacteria are gram-positive, pleomorphic, facultatively anaerobic bacteria which have been classified (in part) according to their capacity to reduce or not reduce nitrates to nitrites. An investigation of the presence or absence of nitrate reductase activity in , in particular, and in , and , in general, indicates that (i) the control of the synthesis of the enzyme is a readily mutable property, (ii) enzyme synthesis occurs under anaerobic conditions, and (iii) maximal activity is associated with the “pellet” or “membrane” fraction. Additional evidence indicates that the gene is not on the phage chromosome and, therefore, is not linked to the gene governing the synthesis of diphtherial toxin () as previously claimed.


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