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Published February 1941 | Published
Journal Article Open

Experiments on the carboxylase of pea roots


It is known that vitamin B1 is a growth factor for numerous bacteria and fungi including the yeasts (see the summary in Koser and Saunders (1938)). It has also been demonstrated that vitamin B1 is essential for the growth of the isolated roots of higher plants (Bonner, 1937; Robbins and Bartley, 1937). Because of this general vitamin B1 requirement of living organisms, it would seem a priori probable that the vitamin plays a role in some basic cellular process. That this is indeed the case was shown conclusively by the work of Peters and coworkers (see Peters and O'Brien (1938)) and of Lohmann and Schuster (1937). The latter workers found that the prosthetic group of yeast carboxylase is vitamin B1 pyrophosphate. In the case of yeast, vitamin B1 is, then, a constituent of a respiratory enzyme and vitamin B1 pyrophosphate is hence commonly referred to as "cocarboxylase," a terminology used throughout this paper. Although considerable information is available concerning the rôle of vitamin B1 as a growth factor for roots, there is little known about the carboxylase of such roots. The present work was undertaken with the hope of elucidating possible relationships between vitamin B1 and the carboxylase of pea roots.

Additional Information

© 1941 American Society of Biological Chemists. Received for publication, July 1, 1940. Generous support was accorded this investigation by the Research Corporation. The authors are indebted to Dr. James Bonner and Dr. E.R. Buchman for their interest in the work.

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