Four species in the order , and , were compared for their ability to accumulate radiolabeled amino acids and polyamines. The use of a novel high-molecular-weight (HMW) medium, from which molecules of less than 12,000 molecular weight had been removed by extensive dialysis, allowed us to discern significant differences among the species in their relative accumulations of [H]methionine and [H]leucine and of [H]spermidine and [H]putrescine. Accumulation of radiolabeled amino acids in control low-molecular-weight (LMW) medium was small (0.2 to 2% of the label), and the species did not differ in their proportional accumulations of methionine and leucine. Accumulation of methionine was significantly enhanced (5- to 12-fold) in all species in HMW medium. In contrast, leucine accumulation was enhanced sevenfold for but only twofold for and in HMW medium. The nonglycolytic species, and , accumulated radiolabeled putrescine and spermidine in both media, whereas the glycolytic species, and , accumulated only radiolabeled spermidine. The ability to accumulate putrescine appeared to be a differential characteristic for nonfermentative, arginine-utilizing mycoplasmas. HMW medium was much more effective than LMW medium for use in radiolabeling proteins with [S]methionine.


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