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Heat production by ruminal bacteria in continuous culture and its relationship to maintenance energy.

By J B Russell


Selenomonas ruminantium HD4 and Bacteroides ruminicola B(1)4 were grown in continuous culture with glucose as the energy source, and heat production was measured continuously with a microcalorimeter. Because the bacteria were grown under steady-state conditions, it was possible to calculate complete energy balances for substrate utilization and product formation (cells, fermentation acids, and heat). As the dilution rate increased from 0.04 to 0.60 per h, the heat of fermentation declined from 19 to 2% and from 34 to 8% for S. ruminantium and B. ruminicola, respectively. At slow dilution rates the specific rate of heat production remained relatively constant (135 mW/g [dry weight] or 190 mW/g of protein for S. ruminantium and 247 mW/g [dry weight] or 467 mW/g of protein for B. ruminicola). Since the heat due to growth-related functions was small compared to maintenance expenditures, total heat production provided a reasonable estimate of maintenance under glucose-limiting conditions. As the dilution rate was increased, glucose eventually accumulated in the chemostat vessel and the specific rates of heat production increased more than twofold. Pulses of glucose added to glucose-limited cultures (0.167 per h) caused an immediate doubling of heat production and little increase in cell protein. These experiments indicate that bacterial maintenance energy is not necessarily a constant and that energy source accumulation was associated with an increase in heat production

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1986
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.168.2.694-701.1986
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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