Summary: A fatty acid auxotroph of 6406, designated a’44 and originally isolated as an oleic acid requiring strain, has been shown to be a Δ desaturase mutant. Although lacking this step in fatty acid biosynthesis, it appears to retain the ability to desaturate mono-unsaturated fatty acids. The polyene sensitivity of the organism grown on different fatty acid supplements varied between 0.08±0.02 and 1.20±0.30 μg amphotericin B methyl ester ml for exponentially growing cells. In spite of this variation, the sterol composition remained fairly constant, the major differences lying in fatty acid composition. Stationary-phase cells were more resistant to amphotericin B methyl ester, although again this change was not associated with changes in sterol content. The organism was most resistant when grown in the presence of oleic or linoleic acid. Protoplasts derived from resistant organisms grown on these two fatty acids were also resistant, indicating that the structure of the cell wall was less important than that of the plasma membrane in determining polyene sensitivity under these conditions.


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