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Growth Substances in Agar

William J. Robbins
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 26, No. 10 (Dec., 1939), pp. 772-778
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2436768
Page Count: 7
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Growth Substances in Agar
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Abstract

A beneficial effect of Difco agar upon the spore germination, the growth and the formation of gametes and zygotes by Phycomyces Blakesleeanus was observed. The beneficial material could be extracted in part from the agar with dilute methyl alcohol and more completely with aqueous pyridine. Since the media used contained minerals (including micro-essential elements), sugar, asparagine, and thiamin, it is believed the beneficial action of the agar was caused by unknown growth substances. Agar was found to contain appreciable quantities of biotin and traces of thiamin or its intermediates. Potato, brown sugar, oatmeal, and corn meal favorably affected the development of Phycomyces in the presence of thiamin and probably contain the same unknown growth substances believed to be in agar. The possibility of the occurrence of growth substances in agar is a factor which must be considered in using that material in experiments with living organisms.

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