The ability of various bacteria, actinomycetes, yeasts and moulds to grow on a medium containing sodium 2-keto--gluconate as the major carbon source was investigated. The disappearance of 2-ketogluconate during growth was followed and the ability of washed unadapted cell suspensions to oxidize this substrate (as evidenced by O uptake) was studied. Adapted strains were examined for the presence of a 2-ketogluconokinase: this enzyme was detected in organisms of the genera Although some bacteria and yeasts consumed 2-ketogluconate during growth and washed cells were able to oxidize it (after an induction period) 2-ketogluconokinase activity was not detected in cell-free extracts, prepared from these organisms, namely: species of Several moulds (chiefly Pyrenomycetes, Aspergillales and Fungi Imperfecti) displayed the same phenomena. A few strains grew weakly on the substrate; however, unadapted cells did not show uptake of oxygen. The remaining strains of bacteria, yeasts, moulds and all the actinomycetes were without activity on 2-ketogluconate.

The results in this paper substantiate the opinion that the ‘direct oxidation’ pathways of carbohydrate metabolism are very widespread and important among microorganisms.


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