Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 165–172 | Cite as

Volatile acid production from threonine, valine, leucine and isoleucine by clostridia

  • Sidney R. Elsden
  • Martin G. Hilton


The amounts of the volatile acids produced from thereonine, valine, leucine and isoleucine by growing cultures of clostridia have been measured. The species used were Clostridium sporogenes; C. caloritolerans; C. botulinum proteolytic type A; C. botulinum proteolytic type B; C. botulinum proteolytic type F; C. botulinum proteolytic type G; C. putrificum; C. difficile; C. ghoni; C. bifermentans; C. sordellii; C. mangenoti; C. cadaveris; C. lituseburense; C. propionicum; C. sticklandii; C. scatologenes; C. subterminale; C. putrefaciens; C. histolyticum; C. tetanomorphum; C. limosum; C. lentoputrescens; C. tetani; C. melanomenatum; C. cochlearium; C. sporospheroides. Most of the species tested gave increased yields of propionic acid when grown in the threonine medium; in addition, some species resembled C. propionicum and produced n-butyric acid when grown in this medium. C. histolyticum produced only acetic acid in the basal medium; all seven strains of this species produced more acetic acid when grown in the threonine medium than in the basal medium. Species which oxidize valine to iso-butyric acid also oxidize leucine to 3-methyl butyric acid and isoleucine to 2-methylbutyric acid. The iso-caproic fraction produced by some species is shown to be derived from leucine. The identitity of the branched-chain acids produced by C. sporogenes has been confirmed by gas liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry.

Key words

Clostridia Threonine Valine Leucine Isoleucine Propionic acid iso-butyric acid n-butyric acid 2-methyl butyric acid 3-methyl butyric acid 4-methyl valeric acid 



gas liquid chromatography


reinforced clostridial medium


volatile fatty acid


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney R. Elsden
    • 1
  • Martin G. Hilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Council Food Research InstituteNorwichUK

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