Summary: Various micro-organisms (131 strains of 73 species) were studied for their ability to produce thymidine kinase (TK; EC Taking the specific TK activity of K12 [specific activity of sonicated cell extracts 95-194 pmol min (mg protein)] as 100%, the test organisms had the following relative specific TK activities. In the Gram-positive cocci, (21-84%) showed higher activity than (1-20%) and (1-7%) except for one strain of (29%). , a Gram-negative coccus, lacked TK. Gram-positive endospore-forming rods showed significant activity (, 13-51%; . 9-18%) except for one strain of (2%) and (1-3%). Among the Gram-positive asporogenous rods, and six species of (especially and ) had moderate to high activity (23-348%) but , and had low activity (0-8%). Of the species of studied, most lacked TK but and had significant TK activity (15-53%). Of the Gram-negative facultative anaerobes, lacked TK, while , including (148-1120%), (59-141%), (78-299%) and (61-110%), had a high activity. had a somewhat lower activity (0-34%) except for ‘’ (307%). and and related organisms other than and lacked TK. The seven species of tested, and , essentially lacked TK. The distribution of TK among various bacteria showed some correlation with a phylogenic tree based on 5S rRNA sequences; in particular, organisms with 5S rRNA of the 118N-type did not produce TK.


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