SUMMARY: The intermediate type I coliform organism 1433 can use, as hydrogen donators during the adaptive formation of the tetrathionase enzyme system, most of the carbohydrates that it can ferment, although in some cases the cells must first be grown on a medium containing the carbohydrate concerned. Not only the reduction of tetrathionate, but the process of adaptive formation of tetrathionase as well, is inhibited by oxygen gas, but the capacity to adapt when favourable conditions are restored is relatively unaffected by oxygen. The amount and the rate of formation of new enzyme are greatly increased by providing a source of available nitrogen. The rate of formation is also increased by incubating the cells with mannitol and phosphate before tetrathionate is added, but the total amount of enzyme formed is not increased: it is probable that the increased rate is due to the accumulation of intermediates within the cells; these intermediates have not so far been identified. None of the mathematical expressions investigated fits the course of tetrathionase adaptation exactly; that put forward by Spiegelman (1945) for the production of yeast galactozymase approximates most closely.


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