, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 158-163

Effect of the Medium Composition and Cultivation Conditions on Sporulation in Chemolithotrophic Bacteria

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Abstract

The possibility of regulating endospore formation by changing cultivation conditions was for the first time shown in acidophilic chemolithotrophic bacteria Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans type strain 1269 and the thermotolerant strain K1 formerly described as “S. thermosulfidooxidans subsp. thermotolerans”. Suppression of sporulation occurred when these strains were cultured in Manning's liquid medium with yeast extract. This medium was optimized by gradually reducing the concentrations of ferrous iron salts (the source of energy), phosphorous, nitrogen, and yeast extract and simultaneously increasing the concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and manganese (the elements important for sporogenesis) to attain higher yields of endospores by strains 1269 and K1. As a result, a new medium A was proposed, in which, under aeration, the life cycle of the strains studied culminated in sporulation at a level of 45 and 60%, respectively, of the total cell number. In a series of additional tests, the growth temperature and medium pH were adjusted to obtain the maximum yield of endospores. The optimal ranges found were 40–50°C and pH 1.8–2.2 for strain 1269 and 35–40°C and pH 2.5–2.7 for strain K1. An even higher yield of endospores, amounting to 55 and 75% for strains 1269 and K1, respectively, was obtained when the above growth conditions were combined (growth on medium A at optimal temperatures and pH under static conditions). Our results suggest a new approach to optimizing sporulation by acidophilic chemolithotrophs, which consists in limiting the energy and nutrient sources and using temperature and pH values within the tolerance bounds of these cultures but outside their growth optimum ranges.