One hundred and two strains of aerobic, gram-negative bacteria, isolated mainly from drugs and cosmetics, were tested for catabolic products after incubation in liquid media containing single amino acids. Breakdown products from L-arginine, lysine, and ornithine were identified as their -heptafluoryl butyl esters by gas-liquid chromatographic techniques. A Finnigan model 1015 D gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer/PDP-8E data system was used to identify trace amounts of catabolites after amino acid substrates were inoculated with bacteria. The derivatization reaction was monitored in like manner. The Finnigan data system may be used to identify catabolic compounds rapidly and thus provide a means for bacterial characterization and identification.


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