SUMMARY: and are widely distributed in the soils of Great Britain including some treated only with artificial fertilizers. and appear to be the dominant species. The numbers of myxobacteria ranged from 2000 to 76,400/g. of soil. In an actively decomposing compost of sludge and straw the number of was found to be over 500,000/g.; and were also present, but less abundantly.

Variation of pH between 4·0 and 8·8 does not affect the growth of and , and normal fruiting bodies were produced in the presence of suitable bacteria. and do not attack filter paper.

Both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria growing on solid media may be lysed by extracellular secretions of and . Of forty-seven Gram-positive and forty-seven Gram-negative strains of bacteria tested with three species of myxobacteria, a higher percentage of Gramnegative than of Gram-positive strains was attacked. Pigmented strains of bacteria are more resistant to the lytic action of myxobacteria than the non-pigmented strains. Different species of myxobacteria and different strains of the same species differ in their lytic action on a number of species of bacteria.

The extracellular lytic substance produced by passes through a cellophan membrane. A method of growing and in mass cultures in liquid media to produce extracellular lytic secretions is described.


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