Article

The Botanical Review

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 46-97

Physiological studies on the actinomycetes

  • D. PerlmanAffiliated with

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Summary

Studies on the physiology of the actinomycetes have not been too extensive to date. The literature indicates that members of this group of microorganisms are able to oxidize carbohydrates and lipids to carbon dioxide, but the intermediates in this chain of reactions are unknown. Most of the actinomycetes are quite proteolytic and attack proteins and polypeptides, and are also able to utilize nitrates and ammonia as sources of nitrogen. Nearly all synthesize vitamin B12 when grown on media containing cobalt salts, and many are able to synthesize rather complex organic molecules which have antibiotic properties. The mechanism of synthesis of these substances is not understood, and their role in the organism’s metabolism has not been investigated.