SUMMARY: The utilization of several inorganic and organic sulphur compounds by three strains of and the production of hydrogen sulphide from these compounds was investigated. Sulphate, sulphite, thiosulphate and sulphide cannot supply sulphur to the organism, neither do they have any effect, when added in non-toxic concentrations, on the growth in media containing utilizable organic sulphur. Cystine or eysteine, which can be replaced by glutathione, were required by the three strains tested; no additional sulphur source was needed by two of the strains, the third requiring also methionine, which can be replaced by homocyst(e)ine. Hydrogen sulphide is produced by growing cultures from sulphite, thiosulphate, cystine, eysteine and glutathione, but not from methionine. Different enzyme systems are concerned with hydrogen sulphide production from cystine and sulphite, respectively. The sulphite-reducing capacity of some cultures was often decreased after several passages in laboratory media, the presence of nieotinamide being then required for this reduction. Sulphite was reduced to sulphide by suspensions of resting organisms. The presence of a hydrogenase system is suggested by preliminary experiments, the organisms being able to activate molecular hydrogen for reduction of methylene blue and sulphite. Other hydrogen donors are utilized by the organisms, in particular glucose. The addition of sulphites does not induce growth on substrates which do not support growth in sulphite-free media.


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