SUMMARY Investigations were made of the transformations undergone by the stereoisomers of α,ɛ-diaminopimelic acid in suspensions of acetone-dried organisms of two species of sporulating bacteria, and , both of which contain diaminopimelic acid in their spores but not in their vegetative cells. -diaminopimelic acid was rapidly decarboxylated by vegetative organisms of both species; it was also utilized by some other unidentified anaerobic reaction. The vegetative organisms also oxidized -diaminopimelic acid with release of ammonia. -Lysine was oxidized by , but not by . Neither -nor -diaminopimelic acid was attacked by either organism.

Disintegrated spores of did not oxidize -diaminopimelic acid, but decarboxylated it and also utilized it by the unidentified anaerobic reaction. The decarboxylation, but not the oxidation, of diaminopimelic acid by was greatly stimulated by pyridoxal phosphate; both reactions were inhibited by the same compounds. Study of the oxidation was complicated by the side reactions which occurred with , but a simpler system was provided by an asporogenous variant of which did not decarboxylate diaminopimelic acid without added pyridoxal phosphate. Only one equivalent of ammonia was produced, a small amount of CO was evolved and two equivalents of oxygen were utilized; no oxidation product was identified. The methods of attacking diaminopimelic acid by these two atypical species are compared and discussed in relation to other species in their respective families.


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