Treatment of competent Bacillus subtilis cells with 0.05 % phenethyl alcohol reduces their ability to transport serine, uracil and thymidine into the cellular pool and to incorporate these radioactive precursors into protein, RNA and DNA, to equivalent extents. Since the amount of precursor available influences the rate of macromolecular synthesis, the inhibition of incorporation can be accounted for by a decreased precursor pool. Removal of phenethyl alcohol by centrifugation restores the transport ability for serine, uracil and thymidine to treated cells. Transport of transforming DNA and transformation are inhibited to similar extents; however, removal of phenethyl alcohol by centrifugation after a 1-h incubation does not reverse the effect of phenethyl alcohol on DNA transport and transformation. The effects observed with 0.05 % phenethyl alcohol in B. subtilis can be accounted for by changes in the permeability barrier, that is, the membrane.
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