Physiology of Gluconobacter oxydans during dihydroxyacetone production from glycerol
- Cite this article as:
- Claret, C., Salmon, J.M., Romieu, C. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (1994) 41: 359. doi:10.1007/BF00221232
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Investigations into physiological aspects of glycerol conversion to dihydroxyacetone (DHA) by Gluconobacter oxydans ATCC 621 were made. The activity levels of the enzymes involved in the three catabolic pathways previously known and the effects of specific inhibitors and uncoupling agents on cellular development, DHA synthesis, and cellular respiratory activity were determined. It was established that only two catabolic pathways are involved in glycerol dissimilation by this micro-organism. The only enzyme responsible for DHA production is membrane-bound glycerol dehydrogenase, which employs oxygen as the final acceptor of reduced equivalents without NADH mediation. The ketone is directly released into the culture broth. As the glycolytic and carboxylic acid pathways are absent, the pathway provided by the membrane-bound enzyme is indispensable for the energy requirements of G. oxydans. The cytoplasmic pathway, which begins by phosphorylation of glycerol followed by a dehydrogenation to dihydroxyacetone phosphate, allows growth of the bacterium. At the same time, the substrate transport mode was characterized as facilitated diffusion using radioactive [1(3)-3H]-glycerol. Concerning the DHA inhibition of microbial activity, the enzymatic study of the membrane-bound glycerol dehydrogenase showed the enzymatic origin of this phenomenon: a 50% decrease of the enzyme activity was observed in the presence of 576 mm DHA. The decrease in the rate of penetration of glycerol into cells in the presence of DHA indicates that growth inhibition is essentially due to the high inhibition exerted by the ketone on the substrate transport system.