Summary: Anaerobic cultures of died rapidly in the absence of nitrate and death was normally followed by extensive autolysis. A mutant which did not undergo extensive autolysis was isolated. Anaerobic cultures of did not die or lyse even after prolonged incubation. The protein and lipid content of the parent cell walls altered during ageing in contrast to walls which did not alter greatly as the organisms aged. The amino acid and amino sugar content of the three strains was determined. The diaminopimelic acid, glycine, alanine, glutamic acid, glucosamine, muramic acid and glucose content of the parent cell walls decreased by 50% as the organisms aged. The mutant strain of and walls showed no such change in ageing. Chemical changes similar to ageing could be produced in the cell walls of by incubation with an autolysin obtained from old cultures of the parent strain.


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