SUMMARY: The effect of phenol, mercuric chloride, fluoride, bisulphite, azide, malonate, 2:4-dinitrophenol and cyanide on respiration and penicillin production was studied using suspensions of washed penicillin-producing mycelium of in Warburg flasks. Inhibition of penicillin production by phenol and by mercuric chloride closely followed the inhibition of respiration. Both fluoride and bisulphite inhibited penicillin production to a greater extent than respiration. Malonate was without effect on respiration or penicillin production, possibly because the pH was too high to allow a sufficient concentration of undissociated acid. Penicillin production was inhibited by 2:4-dinitrophenol at concentrations which had little effect on respiration, suggesting that phosphate bond energy is utilized in penicillin formation. Penicillin production was extremely sensitive to cyanide. A concentration of 0.000002 -KCN, which caused no significant inhibition of respiration, depressed the rate of penicillin production to 25% of normal. Maximum rates of penicillin production and respiration are dependent on cyanide-sensitive systems but an alternative, relatively cyanide-stable system allows both respiration and penicillin production to proceed at 25% of the maximum rate.


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