The phosphorus-containing compounds of certain Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms were estimated by a modification of the Schmidt & Thannhauser (1945) procedure. Another method (Mitchell & Moyle, 1950, 1951, 1954) in which pentosenucleic acid (PNA) was estimated from the optical absorption of the ‘PNA fraction’ at 260 mμ. was found to be inaccurate, because of the presence of ultraviolet-absorbing impurities. A more accurate method for estimating PNA has now been developed, in which the nucleotides are separated from impurities by paper electrophoresis. The results thus obtained show that non-nucleotide phosphorus-containing compounds are present in the ‘PNA fraction’ of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. There is, therefore, no evidence to connect these compounds with the Gram staining properties of Gram-positive microorganisms (cf. Mitchell & Moyle, 1950, 1951, 1954).


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