In the symbiotic relationship between and alfalfa (), the bacteria are enclosed within the plant cell by a membrane that may function like a plant vacuolar membrane and maintain a pH between 5·5 and 6·0. Free-living 104A14 is sensitive to pH in this range and its sensitivity was influenced by the presence of acetate and other monocarboxylic acids. can grow at pH 6·0 in 3 mM succinate but does not grow at pH 6·2 if 10 mM acetate is added. The combination of low pH and acetate is bacteriostatic. Measurement of internal pH (pH) using 14C-labelled benzoate as a permeant acid showed that growth inhibition occurs when pH falls below 7·15.


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