A method is described for measuring the syntheses of macromolecules in the filamentous fungus It involves growth of mycelium on small filter papers in the presence of radioactively labelled -leucine to monitor total protein synthesis, and hence growth, and following the incorporation of differently labelled -uridine (to measure nucleic acid synthesis) or -leucine (to measure protein synthesis) under various conditions such as starvation for a metabolite or the presence of an inhibitor. Comparison of H/C or C/H labelling ratios (depending on the labelling combination used) shows the effects of the treatments on nucleic acid or protein synthesis. The method allows large numbers of measurements to be made and enables economical use of radioisotopes. Results are presented to show that, under the labelling conditions used, uridine is incorporated mainly into stable RNA. The method is used to demonstrate probable stringent control of stable RNA synthesis in and that inhibitors of protein synthesis such as cycloheximide and anisomycin also inhibit stable RNA synthesis. In contrast, starvation for -inositol affects nucleic acid synthesis much more strongly than it affects protein synthesis.


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