, Volume 130, Issue 3, pp 255-261

Selective isolation of Acetobacterium woodii on methoxylated aromatic acids and determination of growth yields

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Abstract

Anaerobic enrichments with methoxylated aromatic compounds as substrates (vanillate, syringate, trimethoxycinnamate) were inoculated from freshwater mud and sewage sludge samples. In 12 out of 16 cultures the same type of rod-shaped, motile bacteria was selectively enriched. Two strains, NZva16 and NZva24, were isolated in pure culture and recognized as Acetobacterium woodii by comparison with the type strain (DSM 1030).

All three Acetobacterium strains were able to grow with all 10 of the tested aromatic compounds containing methoxyl groups. In the presence of bicarbonate, these substrates were used as sole organic electron donors and carbon sources. UV-absorption spectra revealed that the aromatic rings were not degraded, and that the corresponding hydroxy derivatives of the methoxylated compounds were formed. The only further fermentation product formed was acetate. When equimolar concentrations of the methoxylated benzoic acid derivatives were applied, the growth yields were proportional to the number of methoxyl groups per molecule. Methoxyl groups or methanol were metabolized by homoacetate fermentation: in the presence of bicarbonate 4 mol of acetate. In case of the methoxylated cinnamic acid derivatives less acetate was formed and the corresponding hydroxy derivatives of phenylpropionic acid appeared as a result of the double bond reduction in the acrylate side chain. In comparison to the benzoate derivatives with the same number of methoxyl groups, higher growth yields were obtained with the cinnamate derivatives.