Low dosages of chloramphenicol (25-50 micrograms/ml) brought about a 2-4-fold stimulation of acid phosphatase activity in 48 h-germinated cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) embryos. However, at high concentrations of chloramphenicol (100-1000 micrograms/ml), there was a progressive decline in enzyme activity. The stimulatory effect of the drug on acid phosphatase activity was relatively specific, since no significant stimulation of activities of proteinase, deoxyribonuclease, ribonuclease, o-diphenolase and peroxidase was observed in germinating cotton embryos. Chloramphenicol, however, did promote the activities of isocitric lyase and alkaline phosphatase. Sephadex G-200 chromatography of the enzyme fraction revealed high (230 000)- and low (106 000)-molecular-weight multiple forms of acid phosphatase in the chloramphenicol-treated embryos, in contrast with a single molecular form (mol.wt. 106 000) in the untreated embryos. Thus the treatment of cotton embryos with chloramphenicol induced both a qualitative and a quantitative change in the acid phosphatase activity. Chloramphenicol-stimulated acid phosphatase activity was strongly inhibited when Pi was included in the germination medium. However, the control embryos showed less pronounced inhibition of enzyme activity in presence of Pi ions.

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