SUMMARY: A simple method of isolating bacteria that utilize cyanide as a source of nitrogen for growth has been developed. This involved supplying hydrogen cyanide as a vapour to glucose-containing minimal-salts agar plates. The bacteria isolated were Gram-negative, oxidase-positive rods producing a fluorescent green pigment and were tentatively identified as strains of Three organisms were studied further and shown to be biotype II. One of these (NCIB 11764) was grown in a glucose-containing fed-batch culture with either NHCl or KCN as the limiting nutrient. Cyanide-grown bacteria produced stoichiometric amounts of ammonia from cyanide when pulsed with cyanide under aerobic conditions. Stimulation of oxygen uptake was seen on addition of cyanide to suspensions of cyanide-grown but not ammonia-grown bacteria.


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