Factors Influencing the Retention of K in a Halobacterium

  • M. Ginzburg
  • B. Z. Ginzburg
Part of the Biomembranes book series (B, volume 7)


The cells of at least two species of Halobacterium contain 3–4 mol of potassium and require for survival a similar concentration of NaC1 in the outside medium (Christian and Waltho, 1962; Ginzburg et al, 1970). It has been suggested (Ginzburg et al, 1970, 1971a, b) that the retention of cell potassium is not directly dependent upon metabolism. The principal basis for this conclusion comes from experiments with starved bacteria: These respire at about 1% of the normal rate and are presumed to have a low rate of metabolism. The cell membrane of these starved bacteria allows the free passage of the K+, Na+, and Clions, yet the amount of potassium is equal to that present in cells metabolizing normally. Thus metabolism cannot be of importance in maintaining large amounts of potassium in the cells, and it is concluded that the cell ions are at equilibrium with those in the outside solution.


NaCI Concentration Organic Anion Ambient Medium Halophilic Bacterium Crystal Radius 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ginzburg
    • 1
  • B. Z. Ginzburg
    • 1
  1. 1.Botany DepartmentThe Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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