Colony radial growth rates and specific growth rates of three related Ashbya gossypii strains ATCC10895, IMI31268, MUCL29450 and an unrelated strain, CBS109.26, were measured on various carbon and nitrogen sources at pH 4.5 and pH 6.5 to elucidate physiological growth requirements and strain differences. All strains grew on yeast extract or ammonium as nitrogen sources, but not on nitrate. Substantial growth at pH 4.5 was observed only on complex medium. D-Glucose, glycerol and starch were utilised as carbon sources. Ethanol was produced during growth on glycerol. Conversion of xylose into xylitol demonstrates that the xylose reductase is active. Phenotypic differences between related strains were greater than expected. We demonstrate that A. gossypii utilizes ammonium as sole nitrogen source at pH 6.5, facilitating further physiological studies using chemically defined media in the future.
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