SUMMARY: A number of non-marine Oomycetes and a marine-isolated Pythium culture were lysed in natural sea water by marine micro-organisms. A relationship was observed between the rate and extent of lysis and the size of the marine microbial population. Microscopic observations and the accumulation of reducing sugars indicated that extracellular cell wall-lysing enzymes were responsible. Pure cultures of lytic bacteria isolated from the sea yielded data similar to those obtained in natural sea water. The importance of the lytic phenomenon in the determination of the marine mycoflora is discussed.


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