When washed suspensions of were starved under anaerobic conditions the viability declined to < 10% within 12 h. Although RNA was slightly degraded during this period the principal substrate for endogenous metabolism was protein and the intracellular amino acid pool. The adenylate energy charge and the ability to transport serine declined markedly within the first 6 h of starvation. With the majority of batches of organism investigated the membrane potential, as measured by the accumulation of Cs by valinomycin-treated organisms, also decreased significantly during this period. Addition of glucose or serine during starvation reversed these effects to varying extents provided that feeding took place during an early phase (2 h) of starvation. There was no apparent correlation between the magnitude of the membrane potential and viability.


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