SUMMARY: The wax esters of strains NCIB 8250 and NCIB 10487 harvested at stationary phase from N-limited batch cultures were extracted and shown to consist of C to C saturated and mono-unsaturated alkan-l-ols randomly esterified with C to C saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. The mono-unsaturated components contained a Δ9 double bond. Wax ester content of strain NCIB 8250 increased under conditions of low growth rate in N-limited continuous culture with carbon and energy source in excess. The high content of wax ester in N-limited cultures of strain NCIB 8250 was lowered by incubation in the absence of a carbon and energy source and the wax ester was converted to water-soluble materials and CO. It is proposed that in NCIB 8250 the endogenous wax ester present in N-limited cells can serve as an energy reserve. All 19 strains of tested contained some wax ester and as 16 of these strains had increased wax ester contents when harvested from stationary phase N-limited batch cultures, it appears that wax esters are widespread, but not universal, energy storage components in the genus


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