SUMMARY: Growth of on heat-killed cells was accompanied by the loss of bacterial cytoplasmic contents, and this ‘cytolysis’ could be catalysed in heat-treated bacteria by the fungal culture fluids. In electron micrographs the bacterial walls appeared undamaged, and the absence of wall-lytic enzymes was confirmed by use of isolated bacterial walls as substrate. Appearance of cytolytic activity in cultures was paralleled by the production of proteolytic activity in the cultures. Proteolysis and cytolysis had similar pH optima at 8·8-9·0. Cultures grown on casein, but not glucose, produced high cytolytic activity. Rapid cytolysis occurred when heat-treated cells were incubated with trypsin, subtilisin or pronase E. Viable bacteria, however, were not attacked, either by concentrated culture fluids or by the commercial protease preparations.


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