Assimilatory Sulfur Metabolism in Marine Microorganisms: Sulfur Metabolism, Protein Synthesis, and Growth of Alteromonas luteo-violaceus and Pseudomonas halodurans During Perturbed Batch Growth. Academic Article uri icon


  • The antibiotic protein synthesis inhibitor chloramphenicol specifically blocked the incorporation of [S]sulfate into the residue protein of two marine bacteria, Pseudomonas halodurans and Alteromonas luteo-violaceus. Simultaneous inhibition of total protein synthesis occurred, but incorporation of S into low-molecular-weight organic compounds continued. A. luteo-violaceus rapidly autolyzed, with similar reduction in cell counts, total culture protein and cellular sulfur, whereas P. halodurans remained viable. Treatment with chloramphenicol, growth during nitrogen and carbon limitation, and the carbon and energy sources used for growth did not alter the sulfur content of P. halodurans protein. The mean value (1.09%, by weight), representing a wide variety of environmentally relevant growth conditions, was in agreement with model protein composition. The variability of cellular composition of P. halodurans and A. luteo-violaceus is discussed with respect to the measurement of bacterial growth in natural environments. Total carbon and nitrogen per cell varied greatly (coefficient of variation, ca. 100%) depending on growth conditions. Variation in total sulfur and protein per cell was much less (coefficient of variation, <50%), but the least variation was found for sulfate incorporation into residue protein (coefficient of variation, ca. 15%). Thus, sulfate incorporation into residue protein can be used as an accurate measurement of de novo protein synthesis in these bacteria.

publication date

  • January 1982