Oxygen consumption of luminous bacteria determined by the Thunberg micro respirometer and by the time which elapses before the luminescence of an emulsion of luminous bacteria in sea water begins to dim, when over 99 per cent of the dissolved oxygen has been consumed, agree exactly.
Average values for oxygen consumption at an average temperature of 21.5°C. are 4.26 x 10–11 mg. O2 per bacterium; 2.5 x 104 mg. per kilo and 5.6 mg. O2 per sq. m. of bacterial surface.
The only correct comparison of the oxygen consumption of different organisms or tissues is in terms of oxygen used per unit weight with a sufficient oxygen tension so that oxygen consumption is independent of oxygen tension.
Measurement of the oxygen concentration which just allows full luminescence, compared with a calculation of the oxygen concentration at the surface of a bacterial cell just necessary to allow the observed respiration throughout all parts of the cell, indicates that oxygen must diffuse into the bacterium much more slowly than through gelatin or connective tissue but not as slowly as through chitin.