SUMMARY: pH-sensitive microelectrodes, constructed with a tip diameter of about 4 urm, were deployed through 24 h and 48 h colonies of incubated on CYS medium (Casamino acids, yeast extract, salts), with and without glucose. Measurements of pH were used to construct pH profiles through the colony and the surrounding agar. pH gradients could be detected for at least 800 urm into the agar beneath a 24 h colony, and to approximately 10 mm horizontally away from the edge of the colony. In older colonies, the lateral gradient extended for over 20 mm. The pH of the underlying agar was increased by up to 1.45 pH units after 48 h growth without glucose. When colonies were grown with glucose, a significant area of acidification was observed within the colony in addition to a zone of alkalinization present at its periphery. Acidification was thought to be due to the anaerobic fermentation of glucose producing organic acids whilst alkalinization was due to the aerobic oxidation of amino acids releasing ammonia.


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