The rates of cell division and of protein, DNA and RNA synthesis upon transition of to and from rich medium were examined. The changes in cell morphology (elongation) were also examined by optical and electron microscopy. Upon transfer from poor to rich medium, the rate of synthesis of RNA increased rapidly, followed by an increase in protein synthesis within 3 h and by an increase in DNA synthesis within 7 h; cell division began after a lag of about 10 h. Upon transfer from rich to poor medium, the preshift rates for protein and DNA synthesis changed to postshift rates after 3 h and 7 h, respectively; RNA synthesis stopped immediately, there was a transient fall in total RNA, and synthesis was resumed at a new rate only after 24 h. After the period of adjustment to new medium, the bacteria entered the postshift growth in which cell size, the increase in cell mass (absorbance at 650 nm) and viable counts, and the rates of synthesis of protein, DNA and RNA were constant. Ultrastructural examination of elongated cells during the adjustment period showed that they had septa at different stages of formation, but no evidence of fragmentation was found. It was concluded that cell division in was by binary fission, and that the notion of a life-cycle was not supported by the present findings.


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