, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 46-97

Physiological studies on the actinomycetes

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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.

This review is one of a series surveying the literature dealing with aspects of microbiological processes of interest to the fermentation industry. It is an extention of an earlier summary (409a), and is intended as a section of a source book. This survey covers the literature published before 1952.