SUMMARY: A reaction mixture is described consisting of a buffered solution of amino acids, salts, growth factors and glucose in which freshly harvested washed incorporated radioactive tracers and synthesized nisin. Rapid nisin synthesis started after a delay of 30-60 min. but bacteria pre-incubated in the reaction mixture synthesized nisin without delay although the rate of protein synthesis remained the same as that of freshly harvested bacteria. Although growing is sensitive to penicillin and mitomycin these antibiotics had no effect on nisin synthesis by washed organisms. Actinomycin D inhibited uptake of tritiated uridine immediately and inhibited nisin synthesis after a delay of about 60 min. Antibiotics which interfere with protein synthesis, e.g. chloramphenicol, puromycin and terramycin also interfered with nisin synthesis. The inhibition was immediate and occurred irrespective of whether the antibiotics were added at the beginning of an experiment or after 50 min. Nisin synthesis was more sensitive than protein synthesis. The data suggest that nisin synthesis occurs by a mechanism similar to that of protein synthesis.


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