The effect of dilution rate and pH on biomass and proteinase production by Micrococcus sedentarius grown in continuous culture


Department of Microbiology, Leeds University, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.


K.T. HOLLAND, J. MARSHALL AND D. TAYLOR. 1992. Micrococcus sedentarius, an organism associated with pitted keratolysis, produced two proteinases in culture supernatant fluids, as shown by non-denaturing PAGE with overlaying with a casein substrate. A mixture had optimal activity at pH 10 with azocasein substrate. At pH 7.1 and 8.1 in continuous culture with varying dilution rates high proteinase production occurred at relative specific growth rates (μrels) 0.39 and 0.77 and biomass concentrations decreased with increasing dilution rate. One proteinase was constitutive and varied little in production with different growth rates. The other proteinase was under control with high production at low growth rates and no production at high growth rates. With varying pH at μrels, 0.39 and 0.77 maximum biomass concentration and proteinase production occurred between pH 8.0 and 9.0 as did the highest specific growth rate. These results support the hypothesis that Mic. sedentarus produces pitting in the stratum corneum when the skin is hydrated and the pH rises above neutrality.