Methanococcus voltae incorporated exogenous adenine, guanine, hypoxanthine, and uracil, but not thymine. Growth of M. voltae was also sensitive to purine and pyrimidine analogs. Of the 20 analogs tested, 12 were inhibitory at 1 mg/ml. The most effective inhibitors were purine analogs with endocyclic substitutions. Nucleoside analogs and analogs with exocyclic substitutions or additions were less effective. Four purine analogs, 8-aza-2,6-diaminopurine, 8-azaguanine, 8-azahypoxanthine, and 6-mercaptopurine and one pyrimidine analog, 6-azauracil, were especially toxic. The MICs were 20, 0.5, 2.0, 80, and 10 μg/ml, respectively. Spontaneous resistance mutants were isolated for these five analogs. The MICs for these mutants were 20.5, 8.2, >65, >41, and 20.5 mg/ml, respectively. These concentrations far exceeded the solubilities of the analogs and represented an increase in resistance of at least three orders of magnitude. In addition to demonstrating cross resistance to several of the analogs, four of these mutants lost the ability to incorporate exogenous bases. These appeared to be mutations in the salvage pathways for purines and pyrimidines. In contrast, the mutant resistant to 6-mercaptopurine was not defective in purine uptake. Instead, it degraded 6-mercaptopurine. In the presence or absence of high concentrations of the analogs, the growth rates of the resistant mutants were no less than one-half of the growth rate of the wild type in the absence of the analog. The high level of resistance and rapid growth are very desirable properties for the application of the mutants in genetic experiments
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