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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We are grateful to F. Hoffmann-La Roche and Co. , Basel, for kindly supplying cultures of Flavobacterium 0147, and to this company and the Science Research Council for financial support. -A. was in receipt of a research fellowship from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a John­ ston Fellowship in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool. REFERENCES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 G. Suzue, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 45, 616 (1960).

It was found that at this nicotine concentration, zeaxanthin was almost completely replaced by lycopene, showing that in this Flavobacterium, as in Mycobacterium species37, the cyclization reaction is inhibited by nicotine, and suggesting that lycopene is the compound that cyclizes. Figure 2. Variation of carotenoid composition in Flavobacterium 0147 with nicotine concentra­ tion: , zeaxanthin; , rubixanthin; , lycopene The effect of different concentrations of nicotine on the carotenoid composition in Flavobacterium 0147 was then investigated.

The fact that many bacteria appear to be reluctant to incorporate mevalonic acid into carotenoids has probably restricted quite considerably the study of the biosynthesis of bacterial carotenoids. % The availability of a Flavobacterium (strain 0147), which accumulates, as essentially the only carotenoid, large amounts of zeaxanthin (I), and which is capable of incorporating mevalonic acid very efficiently into zeaxanthin, has promoted a series of investigations into the biosynthesis of carotenoids, especially zeaxanthin, in this organism, and this work has led to new studies of the biosynthesis of acyclic carotenoids in photosynthetic bacteria.

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