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Anaerobic catabolism of formate to acetate and CO2 by Butyribacterium methylotrophicum.

By R Kerby and J G Zeikus


The catabolism of sodium formate to acetate and carbon dioxide by the anaerobic acetogen Butyribacterium methylotrophicum was analyzed by fermentation time course and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance studies. Significant hydrogen production and consumption fluxes were observed during formate catabolism but not during the catabolism of formate plus CO. In the latter case, formate and CO were simultaneously consumed and label distribution studies with mixtures of 13C-labeled CO and formate demonstrated their preferential incorporation into the acetate carboxyl and methyl groups, respectively. Hydrogen consumption was inhibited by CO when both were present, whereas hydrogen and formate were simultaneously consumed when CO2 was supplied. Carbon dioxide was required for the conversion of CO to acetate, but a similar need was not observed when methanol plus CO or formate plus CO was present. These analyses indicate a bifurcated single-carbon catabolic pathway in which CO2 is the sole single-carbon compound that directly supplies the carbonyl and methyl group synthesis pathways leading to the formation of acetyl coenzyme A, the primary reduced product. We discuss causes for the reported inability of B. methylotrophicum to use formate as a sole substrate

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1987
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.169.5.2063-2068.1987
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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