Summary: Glutamine synthetase (GS; EC from was purified using a single affinity-gel chromatography step, and some of its properties were determined. Levels of GS in cells varied by a factor of 8 depending upon the source of nitrogen in the growth medium. Of 24 nitrogen sources examined only glutamine or NHCl utilization resulted in very low GS activity. Addition of NHCl to a culture with high GS levels appeared to stop further synthesis and resulted in a progressive decrease in the specific activity of the enzyme. The GS inhibitor methionine sulphoximine (MSX) inhibited GS activity but had no effect on exponentially growing cells. The presence of MSX either lengthened or shortened the period between spore inoculation and initiation of exponential growth, depending on the source of nitrogen. In glutamine minimal medium MSX produced earlier and more efficient spore germination while in glutamate or nitrate minimal medium germination was delayed by its presence.


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