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The Stability of D-Arabinose Adaptation of Bact. lactis aerogenes

Cyril Hinshelwood and S. Jackson
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Vol. 137, No. 886 (Apr. 13, 1950), pp. 88-95
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/82487
Page Count: 8
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The Stability of D-Arabinose Adaptation of Bact. lactis aerogenes
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Abstract

Bact. lactis aerogenes first subcultured into D-arabinose has a long lag phase, in one strain about 30 hr. This is shown by cultures freshly grown from a single colony, and is not significantly changed by repeated subculture in a variety of media free from D-arabinose. According, therefore, to the theory that mutations and reverse mutations lead to an equilibrium and that the lag is the time required for the small proportion of mutants to multiply in the D-arabinose, this proportion must be very small, and the equilibrium rapidly established. Differential equations can be set up to express the rate of establishment of equilibrium starting either with normal cells (not utilizing D-arabinose) or with mutant cells. From the experimental observations an estimate can be made of the minimum rate of establishment of equilibrium in the forward direction, and the equations then can be applied to calculate the rate at which reverse mutation should occur. The calculations can be compared with the experimental results on the stability of D-arabinose adaptation during subsequent culture of the mutant cells in glucose. Reversion does not occur in the predicted manner. The theory would also fail to account for the generally observed influence of the length of training of bacteria on the ease of reversion. Theories of direct adaptation do not present these difficulties (though they do not themselves make any general prediction about the rate of reversion).

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