, Volume 154, Issue 1, pp 31-36

Growth of Synthrophomonas wolfei on unsaturated short chain fatty acids

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Abstract

The anaerobic fatty acid-degrading syntrophic bacterium, Syntrophomonas wolfei, was grown in pure culture with either trans-2-pentenoate, trans-2-hexenoate, trans-3-hexenoate, and trans, trans-2,4-hexadienoate as the substrate. Trans-2-pentenoate was fermented to acetate, propionate, butyrate, and valerate. Acetate, butyrate, and hexanoate were produced from the six-carbon mono- and di-unsaturated acids. Propionate was also product from the trans,trans-2,4-hexadienoate which suggested this compound was degraded by another pathway in addition to β-oxidation. The transient production of trans-2-hexenoate from trans-3-hexenoate suggested that the position of the double bound shifted from carbon-3 to carbon-2 prior to β-oxidation. The specific growth rate decreased with increasing carbon length and degree of unsaturation. Molar growth yields ranged from 8.4 to 17.5 mg (dry wt.) per mmol and suggested that energy was conserved not only from substrate-level phosphorylation, but also from the reduction of unsaturated substrate.