The presence or absence of certain amino acids has different effects on the ability of Bacillus subtilis to sporulate, and the intracellular pool size of amino acids has been reported to vary during sporulation. The idea that these variations might exert a regulatory effect through aminoacylation of transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA) was investigated by studying the levels of aminoacylation in vivo in the logarithmic or stationary phase of growth. Both the periodate oxidation method and the amino acid analyzer were used to evaluate in vivo aminoacylation. The results indicated that in general the level of aminoacylation of tRNA's remained constant through stage III of sporulation, although there were detectable variations for specific amino acid groups. Our studies also showed that periodate oxidation damaged certain tRNA's; therefore, the results obtained by such a method should be interpreted with caution. Because the damage can affect certain isoaccepting species specifically, the periodate oxidation method cannot be used to establish which isoaccepting species are acylated in vivo. We also investigated the possibility of preferential use of particular tRNA species by polyribosomes. These results demonstrated a preferential use of lysyl-tRNA's at different growth stages. Control mechanisms operating during the early stages of sporulation, therefore, do not affect the overall level of aminoacylation. However, there is an effect on the levels of aminoacylation of specific amino acids and on which isoaccepting species are utilized by the polyribosome system
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