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Published January 1, 1941 | public
Journal Article Open

Purine and pyrimidine bases as growth substances for lactic acid bacteria


In 1936 Richardson (1) showed that uracil was essential for the anaerobic growth of Staphylococcus aureus, but not for aerobic growth of the same organism. Of five strains tested three required uracil, while one required both guanine and uracil for growth. Thymine or cytosine did not replace uracil for this organism. These experiments suggested that hydrolytic products of nucleic acids might become factors limiting growth of various organisms under certain conditions. Bonner and Haagen-Smit (2) in 1939 showed that adenine greatly stimulated growth of leaves under defined conditions, while Möller (3) showed that adenine was required for growth of Streptobacterium plantarum. Pappenheimer and Hottle (4) recently showed that adenine was necessary for the growth of a strain of Group A hemolytic streptococci; it could be replaced by hypoxanthine, guanine, anthine, guanylic acid or adenylic acid. They made the very interesting observation that adenine was unnecessary for growth of this organism if the carbon dioxide tension was maintained at a sufficiently high level.

Additional Information

© 1941 by the National Academy of Sciences. Communicated November 25, 1940. We wish to thank the Rockefeller Foundation for grants in support of this investigation, and Dr. R.J. Williams for his suggestions during the course of this work.


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