Summary: K12 and LT2 cells were stabilized during carbon starvation in the presence of peptidase-deficient mutant strains. The rate of loss of viability of the wild-type strain was decreased an average of 2-fold, and the rate for the wild-type strain was decreased about 2.3-fold, when either was starved in the presence of the multiply peptidase-deficient strain TN852; other peptidase-deficient strains exhibited similar stabilizing effects. Starving wild-type LT2 cells utilized peptides excreted by the starving peptidase-deficient cells for protein synthesis, and, to a lesser extent, as respiratory substrates. Provision of free amino acids in steady-state levels to starving K12 cells in a cell recycle apparatus had a stabilizing effect similar to that of mixing with peptidase-deficient cells.


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