Tryptophan biosynthetic enzyme levels in wild-type Vibrio harveyi and a number of tryptophan auxotrophs of this species were coordinately regulated over a 100-fold range of specific activities. The tryptophan analog indoleacrylic acid evoked substantial derepression of the enzymes in wild-type cells. Even higher enzyme levels were attained in auxotrophs starved for tryptophan, regardless of the location of the block in the pathway. A derepressed mutant selected by resistance to 5-fluorotryptophan was found to have elevated basal levels of trp gene expression; these basal levels were increased only two- to threefold by tryptophan limitation. The taxonomic implications of these and other biochemical results support previous suggestions that the marine luminous bacteria are more closely related to enteric bacteria than to other gram-negative taxa
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