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Effect of Potassium Chloride on the Uptake and Storage of Phosphate by Saccharomyces mellis

By Ralph Weimberg


The inorganic and polyphosphate pools of Saccharomyces mellis, grown in a medium containing excess phosphate, remain associated with the cells when the cells are suspended in a saline medium. If the cells are incubated in a medium containing 2 m KCl, the cells are altered in some manner which permits most of the orthophosphate and approximately one-third of the polyphosphate to be subsequently eluted by osmotic shock. At lower salt concentrations, β-mercaptoethanol enhances this salt effect but is inactive by itself in this respect. At equivalent ionic strengths, the sodium salt of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid behaves exactly like KCl or any other monovalent ionic compound in altering the cell to susceptibility to osmotic shock. No special effect of this anion at either high or low concentration could be detected. Resting cells are refractory to being altered in this manner by salts if an energy source, such as glucose, is included in the reaction mixture. Cells which are depleted of phosphate reserves will immediately incorporate phosphate when suspended in a medium containing inorganic phosphate and an energy source. These cells exhibit the phenomenon of “überkompensation.” In resting cells, the inclusion of KCl in the reaction mixture prevents the conversion of orthophosphate into polyphosphate and, also, gradually decreases the ability of the organism even to assimilate orthophosphate. This effect is reversible, however, since the cells will incorporate phosphate in a normal manner if the cells are transferred to a non-salinized medium, or if a nitrogen source is included in the salinized reaction mixture so that the cells are now in a medium adequate for growth

Topics: Physiology and Metabolism
Year: 1970
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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