Current Microbiology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 97–103 | Cite as

Bacteria produce the volatile hydrocarbon isoprene

  • Jennifer Kuzma
  • Michele Nemecek-Marshall
  • Walter H. Pollock
  • Ray Fall


Various bacterial species, both Gram-negative and Gram-positive, were found to produce the volatile hydrocarbon isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene). Out of the tested cultures, Bacillus produced the most isoprene. The production of isoprene from bacteria was confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Media and growth effects on isoprene production were investigated: growth in rich media led to higher levels of isoprene than growth in minimal media, and highest isoprene emission rates were seen in log-phase cultures. Temperature profiles for bacterial isoprene production showed an optimum of 45°C and were suggestive of an enzymatic mechanism for isoprene formation.


Hydrocarbon Bacillus Temperature Profile Bacterial Species Minimal Medium 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1945

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Kuzma
    • 1
  • Michele Nemecek-Marshall
    • 1
  • Walter H. Pollock
    • 2
  • Ray Fall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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