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Oxygen Metabolism in Lactobacillus plantarum

By Eugene M. Gregory and Irwin Fridovich


Lactobacillus plantarum, although able to grow in the presence of oxygen, was found to retain a completely anaerobic metabolism. Thus, L. plantarum did not consume detectable amounts of oxygen and did not contain measureable amounts of those enzyme activities which serve to protect anaerobic cells against the lethality of O2− and of H2O2. Superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase appeared to be absent from these cells. L. plantarum was unusually resistant towards hyperbaric oxygen, indicating that it did not reduce oxygen even when exposed to high concentrations of this gas. A photochemical reaction mixture, known to generate O2−, did kill L. plantarum. The lethality was diminished by superoxide dismutase, catalase, or mannitol and was augmented by H2O2. This suggests that the lethal agent generated in the photochemical system was primarily OH., generated from the reaction of O2− with H2O2

Topics: Physiology and Metabolism
Year: 1974
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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