Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 115, Issue 3, pp 271–275 | Cite as

Utilization of benzylpenicillin as carbon, nitrogen and energy source by a Pseudomonas fluorescens strain

  • Jürgen Johnsen


A bacterium which utilizes benzylpenicillin as carbon, nitrogen and energy source was isolated from a lake sediment. The organism was identified as a strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens with a GC content of 59.71 Mol %. After growth of the organism on a mineral salts medium containing benzylpenicillin, the derivatives benzylpenicilloic acid, benzylpenilloic acid and benzylpenicillenic acid were found in culture media. There was no indication that the phenylacetate side chain of benzylpenicillin is decomposed. In uninoculated culture media benzylpenicillin, benzylpenicilloic acid and benzylpenicillenic acid were demonstrable. The following compounds were found to be absent from inoculated or uninoculated culture fluids: d-penicillamine, l-valine, l-cysteine, benzylpenillic acid and 6-aminopenicillanic acid. The organism possesses penicillinase. Penicillin acylase was not demonstrable. The reaction product of penicillinase, benzylpenicilloic acid, supports only little growth. There is no growth on 6-aminopenicillanic acid with or without NH4Cl. Relatively little growth occurs on 6-aminopenicillanic acid in the presence of phenylacetic acid.

The data indicate that the nucleus of the benzylpenicillin molecule is utilized as carbon, nitrogen and energy source. During growth a part of the substrate is destroyed into scarcely usable benzylpenicilloic acid; hereby the antibiotic is detoxified.

Key words

Pseudomonas fluorescens Benzylpenicillin as C- and N-source Penicillinase 



thin-layer chromatography




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Johnsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Allgemeine Mikrobiologie der UniversitätKielGermany

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