Continuous culture of Pseudomonas stutzeri Zobell, a marine denitrifying bacterium, was used to determine the relationship between growth rate and nucleic acid content. The trend of decreasing RNA content with decreasing growth rate, well known for enteric organisms, was found to occur in P. stutzeri Zobell as well, even at very long generation times such as those thought to occur in the oligotrophic ocean. When assayed by ethidium bromide fluorescence, the total RNA/DNA ratio was linear for generation times between 6 and 60 h. We also developed a 200-bp nucleic acid probe (with species- specific potential) for a portion of the 23S rRNA gene of P. stutzeri Zobell, which was used to quantify rRNA and rDNA by hybridization in the same continuous cultures. The rRNA/rDNA ratio also exhibited a decrease with decreasing growth rate, but the relationship, although significant, was not simply linear. The sensitivity and accuracy of the two methods are compared, and the potential for species specificity in future hybridizations is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology