Some lactic acid bacteria formed detectable HO and some did not, regardless of their preference or requirement for aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Whether or not HO was formed depended in some instances on the substrate used as energy source. Two HO-splitting activities were encountered though never in the same organism. One, named pseudocatalase activity, was insensitive to 0·01 -azide or 0·01 -cyanide and appeared to be the action of an acid-sensitive non-haem-containing enzyme detectable in some leuconostocs and pediococci when grown in media containing a low concentration of glucose. The second, named catalase activity, was detected in a number of lactobacilli, leuconostocs, streptococci and pediococci grown on media containing haematin or heated blood; presumably these organisms are able to synthesize the apoenzyme but not the prosthetic group of catalase. This activity was inhibited by 0·01 -azide or 0·01 -cyanide; it was not acid-sensitive. There was little correlation between HO-splitting activity and the preference or requirement of the organisms for aerobic or anaerobic conditions, or between HO-splitting activity and HO formation. Of a few organisms examined, some appeared capable of forming cytochromes when grown in media containing heated blood. One showed traces of a cytochrome whether grown in the presence or absence of heated blood.


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