A streptomycin-bleached mutant of strain Z, a non-photosynthetic mutant, was grown aerobically in the dark at 33, 26 and 15°C respectively. The content of wax esters was greater at higher growth temperatures, whereas the content of paramylon was greater at lower temperatures. The highest temperature (33°C) caused the greatest accumulation of wax esters. Wax esters synthesized at the highest temperature had carbon chain lengths of C24-32 and the predominant chain lengths were C27 and C28. The constituent fatty acids and alcohols ranged from C11 to C18 with myristic acid and myristyl alcohol being the main components. At the lowest temperature (15°C) the mean chain length of wax esters decreased. The most abundant wax ester was C26, and the most abundant fatty acids and fatty alcohols of wax esters were C13. A considerable amount (44-48% of the total) of odd-carbon-numbered wax esters were present. The effect of temperature on odd-carbon-numbered wax formation is discussed in relation to possible sources of propionate or methylmalonate units.


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