A naturally occurring fatty acid-requiring sp. (strain S2), isolated from the ovine rumen, deacylates plant galactolipids, phospholipids and sulpholipids to obtain sufficient fatty acid for growth. Growth was promoted by adding to the growth medium a single straight-chain saturated fatty acid (C to C) or vaccenic acid. Patmitoleic and oleic acids also supported growth but gave lengthy lag phases probably due to their toxicity. Linolenic and linoleic acids supported good growth but they were completely hydrogenated to -11-octadecenoic acid which was incorporated into the bacterial complex lipids. No chain elongation, chain shortening or desaturation of the added fatty acids occurred and all were substantially incorporated into bacterial lipids of the plasma-logen type, partially as a new type of hydrophobic grouping derived from two molecules of fatty acid. The absence of fatty acid unsaturation poses the question of the maintenance of membrane fluidity within this bacterium.


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