Summary: Growth of phage α3a on stationary phase cultures requires micro-aerophilic conditions and is inhibited by aeration. Since pre-conditioning of the bacteria by allowing them to stand for 24 h after shaking for 3 d is an important aspect of the stationary phase phage growth system, various physiological and morphological characteristics of the stationary phase cells during the transition from shaking to standing were investigated. Shaken stationary phase cells were less viable and more sensitive to ultraviolet irradiation and heat than standing stationary phase cells. During pre-conditioning the small, non-flagellated cells present in shaken stationary phase cultures underwent morphological changes and became large, flagellated rods which resembled exponential phase cells. The transition of stationary phase cells from shaking to standing was associated with a marked increase in total RNA synthesis but a rapid and large decrease in total protein synthesis. Intracellular concentrations of ATP in shaken stationary phase cells were 53 % lower than those in standing stationary phase cells. Studies on leucine uptake indicated that its transport was inhibited by isoleucine and that the major part (90 %) of the total leucine uptake was due to a shared system for uptake of both amino acids. Shaken stationary phase cells transported less leucine than standing stationary phase cells. Inhibition of phage growth in aerated stationary phase cultures was not due to the prevention of phage adsorption by shaking. It is suggested that the observed differences between shaken and standing stationary phase cells could be due to aeration affecting the template specificity of the RNA polymerase.


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