SUMMARY: The production of the pigments actinorhodin and undecylprodigiosin by A3(2) was examined in a chemically defined medium which permits dispersed growth of the organism. The physiological controls on the production of the two pigments were markedly disparate. Actinorhodin production occurred mainly in the stationary phase of batch cultures grown with glucose and sodium nitrate as the principal carbon and nitrogen sources. In the same batch cultures, undecylprodigiosin accumulated during the exponential growth phase. The production of both pigments was sensitive to the levels of ammonium and phosphate in the medium. Actinorhodin production was exquisitely sensitive to ammonium concentration, and was completely inhibited by as little as 1 mM-ammonium chloride, whereas more than 50 mM-ammonium chloride was required to prevent undecylprodigiosin production. A similar, but less extreme effect was seen with phosphate: actinorhodin production was completely inhibited by 24 mM-phosphate, whereas undecylprodigiosin was still formed at this high phosphate concentration. The effects of ammonium inhibition of pigmented antibiotic production were relieved by reducing the concentration of phosphate in the medium, but changing the ammonium concentration had no effect on phosphate inhibition. Thus the regulation of pigment production by these two nutrients is interrelated, with phosphate control being epistatic to that of ammonium. The results implicate a phosphorylated intermediate as a major regulator of secondary metabolite synthesis by .


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