THE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF NITRIFYING BACTERIA
FLORIDA UNIV GAINESVILLE
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The path of C14O2 and HC14OOH metabolism by Nitrobacter was investigated. The culture isolated in this laboratory became contaminated and all efforts to effect a purification failed. Not only was it impossible to obtain a pure culture from other laboratories but the question as to whether there are any pure cultures of this organism, despite claims to the contrary, remains open. An assay of nitrite oxidation by a rapid recording platinum microelectrode device was made. In impure culture it was found that the addition of nitrite to washed cell suspensions caused a rapid increase in oxygen uptake within the resolution time of the instrument 1 sec.. The method, coupled with P32 incorporation, would be invaluable for studies of oxidative phosphorylation if cultures of high purity were available. A study of a chemical reaction between ferrocytochrome c and nitrite was made. A model system of the reaction of nitrite with cellular constituents in heterotrophic microorganisms is described. The reaction was apparent first order at low nitrite concentrations, but seemed to be second order at 50 micrometers NO2-. The experiments planned to detect NO by ESR methods should prove invaluable in clarifying the nature of the intermediate products of this model system.