SUMMARY: Esterases of 42 strains of and Citrobacter were analysed by horizontal slab electrophoresis in polyacrylamide-agarose gel using several synthetic substrates. On the basis of esterase zymograms a distinctive pattern was established for each of the three species. was characterized by two major bands: one hydrolysing acetate esters but not butyrate esters; and the other hydrolysing α-naphthyl acetate and reacting weakly with αnaphtyl butyrate and β-napthyl acetate. showed one prominent band that hydrolysed α-naphthyl esters and reacted weakly with β-naphthyl esters. Citrobacter strains showed one major band that hydrolysed α-naphthyl esters and appeared slightly more active towards β-naphthyl esters than that of Considerable variations in electrophoretic mobility were observed among Citrobacter strains. was less variable. In addition, one minor anodal band reacting with β-naphthyl acetate was observed in both and Citrobacter.

The relative molecular sizes of the major esterase bands were determined by disc electrophoresis with gels of different acrylamide concentrations. The molecular size of the major band of Citrobacter appeared to be smaller than that of the corresponding esterase band of


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