The last post wandered away from its original topic (metabolic reconstruction of H. influenzae) and into B. subtilis nucleotide catabolism. I then realized that a similar reconstruction of B. subtilis metabolism was likely to be available, and so did a Google Scholar search. Not only did I find a paper describing this, but it's a very recent paper and so should reflect the latest advances in metabolic reconstruction and all the latest experimental data on B. subtilis metabolism (Oh et al. 2007. Genome-scale reconstruction of metabolic network in Bacillus subtilis based on high-throughput phenotyping and gene essentiality data. J. Biol Chem June 17 epub).
The metabolic reconstruction looks to be much too complex to understand in its entirety. They didn't test DNA as a nutrient, but did test nucleotides and nucleosides and deoxyribose (all supported growth as carbon sources both in silico and in vivo, and the nucleotides and nucleosides also served as nitrogen sources. I'm going to email the author asking for his perspective on whether B. subtilis should be able to use DNA as a carbon and nitrogen source.
Why I'm Marching for Science
6 hours ago in Angry by Choice