, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 786-793

Glycerol fermentation by a new 1,3-propanediol-producing microorganism:Enterobacter agglomerans

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According to their ability to synthesize 1,3-propanediol from glycerol, two species were isolated from the anoxic mud of a distillery waste-water digestor:Clostridium butyricum andEnterobacter agglomerans. The latter, a facultatively anaerobic gram-negative bacterium, is described for the first time as a microorganism producing 1,3-propanediol from glycerol. The products of glycerol conversion byE. agglomerans were identified using nuclear magnetic resonance. A 20-g/l glycerol solution was fermented mainly to 1,3-propanediol (0.51 mol/mol) and acetate (0.18 mol/mol). Ethanol, formate, lactate and succinate were formed as by-products. Gas production was very low; 1,3-propanediol production perfectly balanced the oxido-reduction state of the microorganism. Acetate was the predominant metabolite generating energy for growth. High-glycerol-concentration fermentations (71 g/l and 100 g/l) resulted in an increase of the 1,3-propanediol yield (0.61 mol/mol) at the expense of lactate and ethamol production. Specific rates of glycerol consumption and 1,3-propanediol and acetate production increased whereas the growth rate decreased. The decreased in ATP yield was linearly correlated with the specific rate of 1,3-propanediol production. Incomplete glycerol consumption (about 40 g/l) was systematically observed when high glycerol concentrations were used. The unbalanced oxido-reduction state, the low carbon recovery and the detection of an unknown compound by HPLC observed in these cases indicate the formation of another metabolite, which is possibly an inhibitory factor.