SUMMARY: The oxidation of ammonia by is accelerated in mineral liquid media the addition of small amounts of corn steep liquor or its ‘ash’. The amount of nitrite produced in such cultures usually exceeds the controls by 6–7 times after 6 days. However, in the following days nitrite-production becomes slower and after 14 days the controls have reached the same nitrite concentration as the corn steep liquor cultures. Concomitant with the accelerated nitrite-production hydrogen-ion concentration in the cultures increases considerably and may attain values as low as pH 6.3 after 14 days, as compared with 7.8 in the controls. The effect of corn steep liquor stimulation is more pronounced the smaller the inoculum used. Microscopical examination of slides immersed in cultures during incubation shows that adheres to the glass surface only in cultures corn steep liquor. The stimulatory factor in solutions of the ‘ash’ of corn steep liquor was not removed by dialysis nor by treatment with cation exchange resins. When the solutions were centrifuged both washed sediment and supernatant fluid were active. A possible explanation of the corn steep liquor effect is that colloidal matter in the solutions absorbs ammonia or any other nutrient in the medium in a way more favourable for their utilization by the organism.


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