SUMMARY: Two types of growth response were found with several species of marine blue-green algae when uric acid was sole nitrogen source for growth. For some species the cell type produced was typical of a blue-green alga and the growth rate was like that with other nitrogen sources. The second cell type was atypical in pigmentation. The organisms had a low nitrogen and ash content and the growth rate was much impaired. The cell type seen with uric acid is considered to be probably a minimum for sustained growth of a blue-green alga. Lipid accumulation was not a characteristic of the nitrogen-deficient condition, rather a carbohydrate reserve of a poly-glucose type is indicated. The growth data presented lead to the hypothesis that two different pathways for uric acid utilization may exist in blue-green algae, one probably a normal uricase type and the other a non-specific attack, possibly peroxidative.


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