Cultures of ErM-Iinia carotovora var. atroseptica in a sucrose medium accumulate reducing compounds, a property which distinguishes this organism from E. carotovora var. carotovora (Dye, 1969; Graham, 1971). These reducing compounds are mainly the disaccharides palatinose and I -0-X-D-glUCOSyl-frUCtOSe (GF) (Lund & Wyatt, 1973). The formation of reducing compounds in a sucrose medium has been used to characterize other species of erwinia (Dye, 1968, 1969a,b,c) but the nature of the compounds formed has not been studied.

In this paper the disaccharides formed by E. carotovora var. atroseptica are shown to account for a substantial proportion of the initial concentration of sucrose. Dye (1968, 1969 a, b, c) found other strains of erwinia which were able to produce reducing compounds from sucrose; a survey is reported of the ability of these strains to form palatinose and GF in the test conditions used by Graham and by Dye.

One of the most useful applications of the test for production of reducing compounds from sucrose, is to distinguish between E. carotovora var. atroseptica and var. carotovora. The possibility has been investigated that failure of E. carotovora var. carotovora to accumulate these compounds may be associated with transient production of palatinose andGF during the exponential phase of growth and subsequent metabolism of these compounds.


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