Summary: The mechanism of unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in two estuarine strains of was investigated. Addition of cyclic AMP (cAMP) inhibited the incorporation of radiolabeled acetate into fatty acids of lateexponential phase cultures of strain Inp2. Cerulenin selectively inhibited the incorporation of radioactive acetate into the major fatty acid, 16:1. When strain Inp3 was grown in a medium of high osmotic strength, polyunsaturated fatty acids were present, but they were absent from cultures grown in media with an osmotic strength close to that of sea water. Addition of cAMP to cultures growing at high osmotic strength suppressed the formation of polyunsaturated fatty acids; the uncoupler 2,4-dinitrophenol had a similar effect. The findings are discussed in the context of the suggestion made by Intriago and Floodgate ( 137, 1503–1509, 1991) that strains possess both the anaerobic and aerobic pathways for unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis, the activity of the latter being modulated by the intracellular concentration of cAMP.


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