By analysing the kinetics of β-galactosidase accumulation after induction, the synthesis time of β-galactosidase in Escherichia coli B/r was found to be 75s in rapidly growing cells (1.36 and 2.1 doublings/h), and 90s in slowly growing cells (0.63 doubling/h). These values correspond to peptide-chain-elongation rates of 16 and 13 amino acids/s respectively, in agreement with previous findings, indicating that the peptide-chain growth rate is constant (presumably maximal) in fast-growing bacteria, but decreased in slowly growing bacteria [Forchhammer & Lindahl (1971) J. Mol. Biol. 55, 563-568].

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