SUMMARY: On storage, pigmented (orange or yellow) strains of produce non-pigmented variants which are more susceptible to desiccation and to linoleic acid than are the corresponding wild strains. The association of these properties could explain why most staphylococci isolated from clinical sources are pigmented, although the pigmented character is lost at high frequency

The genes determining these properties are not borne by a typical plasmid since the capacity to produce pigment was not transducible, and no covalently closed circular DNA was detected in lysates of three pigmented strains. There was an apparent reduction in cellular DNA of 30 to 40% associated with the loss of these genes; however, DNA/DNA hybridization could not distinguish between total cellular DNA from a pigmented strain (PAR5) and that isolated from the corresponding non-pigmented variant.


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