SUMMARY: The paper is a survey of the action of α-aminobenzylpenicillin (ampicillin) on The rate at which lysis was induced in exponentially growing organisms was studied for different concentrations of ampicillin, using pure D- and L-forms as well as a 6:4 mixture. The interpolated concentration of penicillin which gives lysis in one generation, the ‘LIOG value’, has been used for characterization of penicillin derivatives with twelve different side chains. These LIOG values were also used for characterization of some penicillin-resistant mutants. The lysis rate has been recorded for cultures of concentrations between 4 x 10 and 10 rods/ml, and found to be independent of the population density. The use of five different media showed that for a given ampicillin concentration the time to lysis was proportional to the growth rate. The addition of penicillinase to a culture growing with penicillin rescued the organisms as late as a few minutes before lysis. Synergistic effects on the lysis rates were found with 6-amino-penicillanic acid and two amino acids, which as residues are side chains, in two of the penicillins tested. Different models for penicillin action in are discussed.


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