SUMMARY: During axenic growth, microplasmodia of secreted chitinase and β--acetylhexosaminidase. Chitin added to the medium was depolymerized to -acetylglucosamine, but this was not used for growth. Spent culture medium contained three enzymes with activity towards 4-methylumbelliferyl-β--acetylglucosaminide and these were separated by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose. In previous work β--acetylhexosaminidases X and Y were identified. The latter form has now been resolved to yield a new form Z. The Y form can be readily distinguished from both X and Z by its lack of activity towards -diacetylchitobiose. Comparison of β--acetylhexosaminidases X and Z revealed differences in thermal stability, pH optima and values. 3,4-Dinitrophenyl-tetra--acetylchitotetraoside is hydrolysed by β--acetylhexosaminidase Z, but not by the X form of the enzyme.


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