Summary: Using chemostat cultures of it was possible to vary respiration rates while maintaining a constant growth rate. This allowed the effect of variations in respiration rates on the accumulation of streptomycin to be studied in cultures at constant growth rates. At a particular dilution rate cultures exhibited higher respiration rates when phosphate limited growth than when carbon limited growth. A ubiquinone-deficient strain had a lower rate of respiration at a particular dilution rate than a related ubiquinone-sufficient strain. In spite of these differences in respiratory activity, the accumulation of streptomycin was identical in carbon- and in phosphate-limited chemostat cultures of ubiquinone-deficient and ubiquinone-sufficient strains. Moreover, accumulation of streptomycin in an anaerobic chemostat culture occurred at the same rate as that in an aerobic chemostat. There was however a lag of 1.5 h before accumulation commenced in the anaerobic culture, a feature that was not apparent in the aerobic culture. These results indicate that the lower rates of respiration in slow-growing bacteria are not responsible for the decreased accumulation of streptomycin in slow-growing compared to fast-growing cultures. Moreover, it seems unlikely that quinones are involved directly (e.g. as carriers) in streptomycin accumulation, since removal of 90% of cellular ubiquinone, or replacement of ubiquinone with a structural analogue, did not affect accumulation as long as mutant and parent cultures grew at the same rate.


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