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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984 Jan;129(1):96-100.

Free fatty acid and triglyceride content of Mycobacterium avium cultured under different growth conditions.


Previous investigations demonstrated that Mycobacterium avium has a requirement for fatty acid, which can be fulfilled by palmitic (C16:0) or oleic (C18:1) acids, and that it incorporates the fatty acid into triglycerides that are later utilized. Mycobacterium avium was grown in continuous culture or batch-cultured in medium that contained palmitic acid as the fatty acid source, but lacked albumin. Cells were extracted and free fatty acids and triglycerides were obtained by preparative thin-layer chromatography. The triglycerides were further purified by column chromatography. The free fatty acids were methylated and analyzed by gas chromatography. Oleic acid represented 40 to 64% of the total free fatty acids, except for cells batch-cultured and limited for nitrogen. The latter cells contained about 27% oleic acid, and 24% of the free fatty acids were of sizes greater than C24:0. The amount of palmitic acid varied considerably, but it and oleic acid together usually accounted for 70% of the total free fatty acids. The overall fatty acid content of the triglycerides was similar to that of the free fatty acids. However, two size classes of triglycerides were found that approximated the sizes of tristearin (C54) and tricaprylin (C24), molecular weights of 892 and 471 daltons, respectively. It is concluded that these types of studies may eventually lead to more accurate identification of pathogenic mycobacteria by means of gas chromatographic analyses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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