The wax ester and constituent fatty alcohol and fatty acid compositions of the psychrophilic bacterium grown at 1 or 20 °C have been analysed using packed column and capillary gas-liquid chromatography. The major wax esters were C, C and C, with a large percentage of mono- and di-unsaturated wax esters (91 to 99% of the total). When the growth temperature was lowered from 20 to 1 °C the average chain length of the wax esters decreased and their unsaturation increased. The average chain length of the saturated wax esters was less than that of the unsaturated wax esters. The fatty alcohols and fatty acids of the wax esters were mainly C, with smaller amounts of C, and were straight chain saturated and mono-unsaturated with double bonds at positions Δ9 and Δ11. The fatty alcohols had a shorter average chain length and were more saturated than the fatty acids, and contained a higher proportion of Δ11 unsaturated isomers. The combination of fatty alcohols and fatty acids in wax esters appeared to be random. The significance of these results is discussed in relation to the taxonomy of , growth temperature-dependent membrane fluidity changes and the biosynthesis of wax esters.


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