Original Papers

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 136, Issue 1, pp 54-59

First online:

Occurrence of polyglucose as a storage polymer in Desulfovibrio species and Desulfobulbus propionicus

  • Fons J. M. StamsAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, University of Groningen
  • , Marten VeenhuisAffiliated withDepartment of Electron Microscopy, University of Groningen
  • , Gerard H. WeenkAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, University of Groningen
  • , Theo A. HansenAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, University of Groningen

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The occurrence of organic storage compounds in six strains of sulfate-reducing bacteria was investigated.

In Desulfovibrio HL21 and Desulfovibrio vulgaris NCIB 8303 accumulation of polyglucose was brought about by limiting the Fe2+ or NH 4 + concentration in the growth medium. Desulfobulbus propionicus 1pr3 and especially Desulfovibrio gigas NCIB 9332 already synthesized large amounts of polyglucose in normal media, whereas the synthesis of polyglucose in two strains of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans was far less pronounced.

Suspensions of Desulfovibrio HL21 cells in media without an energy source and sulfate degraded the polyglucose to acetate, hydrogen and small amounts of ethanol and succinate; Desulfobulbus propionicus formed acetate, propionate and some hydrogen under these conditions. In the presence of sulfate both strains produced acetate and corresponding amounts of sulfide.

None of the strains synthesized PHB as a storage polymer.

Key words

Sulfate-reducing bacteria Polyglucose Storage compounds Desulfobulbus propionicus Desulfovibrio