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1.  Production of 1,3-PDO and butanol by a mutant strain of Clostridium pasteurianum with increased tolerance towards crude glycerol 
AMB Express  2012;2:44.
The production of biodiesel results in a concomitant production of crude glycerol (10% w/w). Clostridium pasteurianum can utilize glycerol as sole carbon source and converts it into 1,3-propanediol, ethanol, butanol, and CO2. Reduced growth and productivities on crude glycerol as compared to technical grade glycerol have previously been observed. In this study, we applied random mutagenesis mediated by ethane methyl sulfonate (EMS) to develop a mutant strain of C. pasteurianum tolerating high concentrations of crude glycerol. At an initial crude glycerol concentration of 25 g/l the amount of dry cell mass produced by the mutant strain was six times higher than the amount produced by the wild type. Growth of the mutant strain was even detected at an initial crude glycerol concentration of 105 g/l. A pH controlled reactor with in situ removal of butanol by gas-stripping was used to evaluate the performance of the mutant strain. Utilizing stored crude glycerol, the mutant strain showed significantly increased rates compared to the wild type. A maximum glycerol utilization rate of 7.59 g/l/h was observed along with productivities of 1.80 g/l/h and 1.21 g/l/h of butanol and 1,3-PDO, respectively. These rates are higher than what previously has been published for C. pasteurianum growing on technical grade glycerol in fed batch reactors. In addition, high yields of the main products (butanol and 1,3-PDO) were detected and these two products were efficiently separated in two steams using gas-stripping.
PMCID: PMC3492062  PMID: 22901717
Glycerol; Crude glycerol; Biofuel; Anaerobic fermentation; Chemical mutagenesis
2.  Kinetics of Sulfate and Hydrogen Uptake by the Thermophilic Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Thermodesulfobacterium sp. Strain JSP and Thermodesulfovibrio sp. Strain R1Ha3 
Half-saturation constants (Km), maximum uptake rates (Vmax), and threshold concentrations for sulfate and hydrogen were determined for two thermophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in an incubation system without headspace. Km values determined for the thermophilic SRB were similar to the constants described for mesophilic SRB isolated from environments with low sulfate concentrations.
PMCID: PMC91178  PMID: 10049897
3.  Acetate Production by Methanogenic Bacteria 
Methanosarcina barkeri MS and 227 and Methanosarcina mazei S-6 produced acetate when grown on H2-CO2, methanol, or trimethylamine. Marked differences in acetate production by the two bacterial species were found, even though methane and cell yields were nearly the same. M. barkeri produced 30 to 75 μmol of acetate per mmol of CH4 formed, but M. mazei produced only 8 to 9 μmol of acetate per mmol of CH4.
PMCID: PMC203065  PMID: 16348006
4.  Temperature Compensation in Methanosarcina barkeri by Modulation of Hydrogen and Acetate Affinity 
The affinity of Methanosarcina barkeri 227 for acetate and hydrogen at different incubation temperatures was investigated. Increasing the temperature from 20 to 37°C resulted in a 4.5-fold increase in Km for acetate and a 4.8-fold increase for hydrogen. The corresponding increase in Vmax for acetate was 8.3-fold (5.4-fold for hydrogen). This response implied a decrease in the temperature coefficient (Q10) and hence a decrease in the temperature dependency as a function of decreasing substrate concentration.
PMCID: PMC184287  PMID: 16347915
5.  Threshold Acetate Concentrations for Acetate Catabolism by Aceticlastic Methanogenic Bacteria 
Marked differences were found for minimum threshold concentrations of acetate catabolism by Methanosarcina barkeri 227 (1.180 mM), Methanosarcina mazei S-6 (0.396 mM), and a Methanothrix sp. (0.069 mM). This indicates that the aceticlastic methanogens responsible for the conversion of acetate to methane in various ecosystems might be different, depending on the prevailing in situ acetate concentrations.
PMCID: PMC184143  PMID: 16347858
6.  Product Inhibition of Butyrate Metabolism by Acetate and Hydrogen in a Thermophilic Coculture 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1988;54(10):2393-2397.
Studies on product inhibition of a thermophilic butyrate-degrading bacterium in syntrophic association with Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum showed that a gas phase containing more than 2 × 10−2 atm (2.03 kPa) of hydrogen prevented growth and butyrate consumption, while a lower hydrogen partial pressure of 1 × 10−3 to 2 × 10−2 atm (0.1 to 2.03 kPa) gradually inhibited the butyrate consumption of the coculture. No inhibition of butyrate consumption was found on the addition of 0.75 × 10−3 atm (76 Pa) of hydrogen to the gas phase. A slight inhibition of butyrate consumption by the coculture occurred at an acetate concentration of 16.4 mM. Inhibition gradually increased with increasing acetate concentration up to 81.4 mM, when complete inhibition of butyrate consumption occurred. When the culture contained an acetate-utilizing methanogen in addition to M. thermoautotrophicum, the inhibition of the triculture by acetate was gradually reversed as the acetate concentration was lowered by the aceticlastic methanogen. The results show that optimal growth conditions for the thermophilic butyrate-degrading bacterium depend on both hydrogen and acetate removal.
PMCID: PMC204269  PMID: 16347751
7.  Dynamics of Methane Production, Sulfate Reduction, and Denitrification in a Permanently Waterlogged Alder Swamp 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1987;53(10):2554-2559.
The dynamics of sulfate reduction, methane production, and denitrification were investigated in a permanently waterlogged alder swamp. Molybdate, an inhibitor of sulfate reduction, stimulated methane production in soil slurries, thus suggesting competition for common substrates between sulfate-reducing and methane-producing bacteria. Acetate, hydrogen, and methanol were found to stimulate both sulfate reduction and methane production, while trimethylamine mainly stimulated methane production. Nitrate addition reduced both methane production and sulfate reduction, either as a consequence of competition or poisoning of the bacteria. Sulfate-reducing bacteria were only slightly limited by the availability of electron acceptors, while denitrifying bacteria were seriously limited by low nitrate concentrations. Arrhenius plots of the three processes revealed different responses to temperature changes in the slurries. Methane production was most sensitive to temperature changes, followed by denitrification and sulfate reduction. No significant differences between slope patterns were observed when comparing summer and winter measurements, indicating similar populations regarding temperature responses.
PMCID: PMC204145  PMID: 16347472
8.  Kinetics of Butyrate, Acetate, and Hydrogen Metabolism in a Thermophilic, Anaerobic, Butyrate-Degrading Triculture 
Kinetics of butyrate, acetate, and hydrogen metabolism were determined with butyrate-limited, chemostat-grown tricultures of a thermophilic butyrate-utilizing bacterium together with Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum and the TAM organism, a thermophilic acetate-utilizing methanogenic rod. Kinetic parameters were determined from progress curves fitted to the integrated form of the Michaelis-Menten equation. The apparent half-saturation constants, Km, for butyrate, acetate, and dissolved hydrogen were 76 μM, 0.4 mM, and 8.5 μM, respectively. Butyrate and hydrogen were metabolized to a concentration of less than 1 μM, whereas acetate uptake usually ceased at a concentration of 25 to 75 μM, indicating a threshold level for acetate uptake. No significant differences in Km values for butyrate degradation were found between chemostat- and batch-grown tricultures, although the maximum growth rate was somewhat higher in the batch cultures in which the medium was supplemented with yeast extract. Acetate utilization was found to be the rate-limiting reaction for complete degradation of butyrate to methane and carbon dioxide in continuous culture. Increasing the dilution rate resulted in a gradual accumulation of acetate. The results explain the low concentrations of butyrate and hydrogen normally found during anaerobic digestion and the observation that acetate is the first volatile fatty acid to accumulate upon a decrease in retention time or increase in organic loading of a digestor.
PMCID: PMC203678  PMID: 16347293
9.  Thermophilic Anaerobic Degradation of Butyrate by a Butyrate-Utilizing Bacterium in Coculture and Triculture with Methanogenic Bacteria 
We studied syntrophic butyrate degradation in thermophilic mixed cultures containing a butyrate-degrading bacterium isolated in coculture with Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum or in triculture with M. thermoautotrophicum and the TAM organism, a thermophilic acetate-utilizing methanogenic bacterium. Butyrate was β-oxidized to acetate with protons as the electron acceptors. Acetate was used concurrently with its production in the triculture. We found a higher butyrate degradation rate in the triculture, in which both hydrogen and acetate were utilized, than in the coculture, in which acetate accumulated. Yeast extract, rumen fluid, and clarified digestor fluid stimulated butyrate degradation, while the effect of Trypticase was less pronounced. Penicillin G, d-cycloserine, and vancomycin caused complete inhibition of butyrate utilization by the cultures. No growth or degradation of butyrate occurred when 2-bromoethanesulfonic acid or chloroform, specific inhibitors of methanogenic bacteria, was added to the cultures and common electron acceptors such as sulfate, nitrate, and fumarate were not used with butyrate as the electron donor. Addition of hydrogen or oxygen to the gas phase immediately stopped growth and butyrate degradation by the cultures. Butyrate was, however, metabolized at approximately the same rate when hydrogen was removed from the cultures and was metabolized at a reduced rate in the cultures previously exposed to hydrogen.
PMCID: PMC203677  PMID: 16347292

Results 1-9 (9)