Bacillus mojavensis strains JF-2 (ATCC 39307), ROB2, and ABO21191(T) and Bacillus subtilis strains 168 (ATCC 23857) and ATCC 12332 required four deoxyribonucleosides or DNA for growth under strict anaerobic conditions. Bacillus licheniformis strains L89-11 and L87-11, Bacillus sonorensis strain TG8-8, and Bacillus cereus (ATCC 14579) did not require DNA for anaerobic growth. The requirement for the deoxyribonucleosides or DNA did not occur under aerobic growth conditions. The addition of a mixture of five nucleic acid bases, four ribonucleotides, or four ribonucleosides to the basal medium did not replace the requirement of B. mojavensis JF-2 for the four deoxyribonucleosides. However, the addition of salmon sperm DNA, herring sperm DNA, Escherichia coli DNA, or synthetic DNA (single or double stranded) to the basal medium supported anaerobic growth. The addition of four deoxyribonucleosides to the basal medium allowed aerobic growth of B. mojavensis JF-2 in the presence of hydroxyurea. B. mojavensis did not grow in DNA-supplemented basal medium that lacked sucrose as the energy source. These data provide strong evidence that externally supplied deoxyribonucleosides can be used to maintain a balanced deoxyribonucleotide pool for DNA synthesis and suggest that ribonucleotide reductases may not be essential to the bacterial cell cycle nor are they necessarily part of a minimal bacterial genome.
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