A chemically defined medium (FMC; B. Terleckyj, N. P. Willett, and G. D. Shockman, Infect. Immun. 11:649-655, 1975) was used to compare the growth and amino acid requirements of 16 strains of group B streptococci, consisting of both laboratory-passaged organisms and fresh clinical isolates from adult and neonatal infections. The 5 standard Lancefield immunizing strains of group B streptococci, 090 (Ia), H36B (Ib), A909 (Ic), 18RS21 (II), and D136C (III), had doubling times in FMC (28 to 36 min) similar to those observed in Todd-Hewitt glucose broth (24 to 30 min). Similar doubling times were obtained with 11 clinical isolates growing in Todd-Hewitt glucose broth and FMC. The optimum buffering capacity of FMC was provided by 0.06 M sodium phosphate, and 1% glucose gave maximum cell yield. The group B streptococci, with minor exceptions, were very homogeneous in their amino acid requirements under both aerobic and anaerobic growth conditions. Phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, glutamate, arginine, valine, leucine, lysine, methionine, isoleucine, cystine, and histidine were required by all 16 strains under both aerobic and anaerobic growth conditions. In addition, threonine was required by all strains under aerobic growth conditions, whereas only 9 strains required threonine under anaerobic conditions. Serine was required by only 3 type III fresh clinical isolates aerobically, but not anaerobically. A requirement for glycine varied from strain to strain, apparently influenced by the oxidation-reduction potential of the growth medium
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