SUMMARY: The effects of different nutrient limitations on the production of the two enzymes of gramicidin S biosynthesis were studied during continuous culture of Gramicidin S synthetases I and II were produced in the chemostat under carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus or sulphur limitation. The growth rate, rather than the nature of the limitation, was the major controlling factor in regulating the level of the gramicidin S synthetases. Synthetase production was low at high dilution rates (0·45 to 0·50 h) but increased as the dilution rate was lowered. The highest specific activities occurred at dilution rates that were different for each type of limitation: 0·40 h for nitrogen, 0·32 h for carbon, 0·24 h for sulphur and 0·20 h for phosphorus. Phosphorus limitation gave the highest specific activities. At low dilution rates (0·10 to 0·15 h), enzyme activities were again low. Sporulation occurred under carbon limitation, but at a lower dilution rate than that which supported optimal gramicidin S synthetase formation. The specific productivity of the synthetases in the chemostat was higher than the highest productivity obtained in batch growth.


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