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J Appl Bacteriol. 1994 May;76(5):424-30.

Continuous culture studies on the synthesis of capsular polysaccharide by Klebsiella pneumoniae K1.

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Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Liverpool, UK.


The synthesis of capsular polysaccharide by Klebsiella pneumoniae K1 was investigated in a minimal salts medium by continuous culture. The organism produced larger amounts of polysaccharide under nitrogen-limited conditions than under carbon-limited conditions. The synthesis of polysaccharide was dependent not only on the availability of excess carbon, but also on growth rate. The rate of polysaccharide synthesis was greatest at low dilutions, low temperature (30 degrees C) and at neutral pH. Prolonged growth in nitrogen-limited culture resulted in the development of non-mucoid variants, possibly due to a selective growth advantage over mucoid cells. The non-mucoid isolate was more susceptible to some bacteriophages, possibly due to the reduction nor absence of capsular polysaccharide.

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