Summary: An assay was developed to measure the rate of exopolysaccharide formation by washed non-proliferating suspensions of NCIB 11264 grown under a range of controlled environmental conditions. The specific activities of certain of the enzymes involved in the formation of the sugar nucleotide precursors of polysaccharide biosynthesis were also measured in steady-state populations. The level of enzyme activity did not reflect either the amount of extracellular polysaccharide produced or the rate at which glucose was incorporated into exopolysaccharide, which was dependent on medium composition, environmental factors, and the rate and stage of growth of the organism. The specific activities were not affected by either cultural conditions or the separate addition of actinomycin D and chloramphenicol, indicating a constitutive biosynthetic system.


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