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J Bacteriol. 1972 Sep;111(3):664-73.

Kinetics of deoxyribonucleic acid destruction and synthesis during growth of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus strain 109D on pseudomonas putida and escherichia coli.


During the growth of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus on Pseudomonas putida or Escherichia coli in either 10(-3)m tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane or in dilute nutrient broth, the host deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was rapidly degraded, and by 30 to 60 min after the initiation of the bdellovibrio development cycle essentially all host DNA became nonbandable in CsCl gradients. At this stage the host DNA degradation products were nondiffusable, and there was no appreciable pool of low-molecular-weight (cold acid soluble) DNA fragments in the cells or in the suspending medium. Bdellovibrio DNA synthesis occurred only after degradation of host DNA to a nonbandable form was complete. The synthesis occurred in a continuous fashion with P. putida as the host and in two separate periods with E. coli as host. By using E. coli containing a (3)H-thymidine label, it was shown that 73%, on the average, of the thymine residues of host DNA were incorporated into bdellovibrio DNA when E. coli was the only source of nutrient. In the presence of dilute nutrient broth, the host cells still served as the major source of precursors for bdellovibrio DNA synthesis, with only 20% of the precursors arising from the exogenous nutrients. The data indicate an efficient and controlled utilization of host DNA by the bdellovibrio. The host DNA is apparently degraded early in the developmental cycle to oligonucleotides of intermediate molecular weight from which the biosynthetic monomers are generated only as they become needed for bdellovibrio DNA synthesis.

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