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Two marine bacteria, an Acinetobacter sp. (strain GO1) and a Vibrio sp. (strain G1), were isolated by extinction dilution and maintained in natural seawater supplemented with nitrogen, phosphorus, and glucose at 0.01 and 10 mg of glucose carbon per liter above ambient monosaccharide concentrations, respectively. After 3 days in unsupplemented natural seawater, growth in batch culture with glucose supplements was determined by changes in cell numbers and glucose concentration. The exponential growth of the Acinetobacter strain with added glucose was indistinguishable from that in natural seawater alone, whereas that of the Vibrio strain was more rapid in the presence of glucose supplements, suggesting that the Acinetobacter strain preferred the natural organic matter in seawater as a carbon source. The ultrastructure for both isolates was unaffected by glucose supplements during exponential growth, but there were marked changes in stationary-phase cells. The Vibrio strain formed polyphosphate at 10 mg of glucose carbon per liter, whereas poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate formation occurred at 100 mg and became excessive at 1,000 mg, disrupting the cells. In contrast, the Acinetobacter strain elongated at 100 and 1,000 mg of glucose carbon per liter but failed to show poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate formation. The diversity of responses shown here would not have been detected with a single concentration of substrate, often used in the literature to characterize both pure and natural populations of marine bacteria.