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Studies on a gram-positive hydrogen bacterium, Nocardia opaca strain 1b

I. Description and physiological characterization


A new hydrogen bacterium has been isolated by enrichment culture on propane. It is a strictly aerobic, Gram-positive, non acid-fast bacterium, characterized by filamentous growth, and has been tentatively assigned to Nocardia opaca (strain 1 b).

It grows heterotrophically, on many organic compounds (71 out of 138 tested substrates including organic acids and sugars), on hydrocarbons (C11−C18) as well as under autotrophic conditions (under an atmosphere of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide=8:1:1) In the absence of a nitrogen source storage materials, mainly carbohydrates, are accumulated.

Hydrogenase is an inducible enzyme. Under appropriate growth conditions the specific hydrogenase activity reaches high values: 2700 enzyme units/g cell protein. The formation of hydrogenase is repressed by fructose. With increasing oxygen concentrations during growth the specific hydrogenase activity decreases. In resting cell oxygen progressively inhibits the oxyhydrogen reaction.

Cell-free extracts of autotrophically grown cells are able to reduce oxygen benzyl-and methyl viologen, dichlorphenolindophenol, methylene blue and nicotinamide adeninedinucleotide with hydrogen.

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Aggag, M., Schlegel, H.G. Studies on a gram-positive hydrogen bacterium, Nocardia opaca strain 1b . Archiv. Mikrobiol. 88, 299–318 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00409942

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  • Fructose
  • Methylene Blue
  • Nicotinamide
  • Enrichment Culture
  • Nicotinamide Adeninedinucleotide