1. The influence of the gut microflora on protein synthesis in individual tissues and in the whole body of young chicks was investigated by the large-dose injection of [3H]phenylalanine. 2. Growth of germ-free chicks was significantly better than that of conventional controls. Wet weights of liver, spleen, duodenum, jejunum + ileum and caeca were heavier in conventional birds than in germ-free counterparts. 3. Fractional rates of protein synthesis were higher in jejunum + ileum and whole body of conventional birds than in those of germ-free birds. Amounts of protein synthesized were larger in liver, jejunum + ileum and caeca in the presence of the gut microflora. 4. When tissues were classified into gut + liver and the remainder of the carcass, in the presence of the gut microflora an enhanced protein synthesis in fractional and absolute rate was found in the gut + liver, which is in direct contact or in close association with micro-organisms, whereas virtually no effect of the gut micro-organisms was detected in the remainder of the carcass. 5. The contribution of protein synthesis of gut + liver to that of the whole body was larger in conventional chicks than in germ-free birds, whereas the reverse was true for the remainder of the carcass.

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