A mutant of Bacillus subtilis synthesizes a variety of omega-alicyclic fatty acids when fed with the respective alicyclic carboxylic acids. These fatty acids are: omega-cyclopropane, omega-cyclobutane, omega-cyclopentane, omega-cyclohexane, and omega-cyclohexene fatty acids. These unusual fatty acids did not lead to an inhibition of growth at 37 degrees C and pH 7. The selective advantage of these fatty acids under extrene conditions was studied in comparison with the acidophilic, thermophilic bacterium B. acidocaldarius, which normally contains a high proportion of omega-cyclohexane fatty acids
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