Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 131, Issue 4, pp 360–365 | Cite as

Studies on dissimilatory sulfate-reducing bacteria that decompose fatty acids II. Incomplete oxidation of propionate by Desulfobulbus propionicus gen. nov., sp. nov.

  • Friedrich Widdel
  • Norbert Pfennig
Original Papers


A new type of sulfate-reducing bacteria with ellipsoidal to lemon-shaped cells was regularly enriched from anaerobic freshwater and marine mud samples when mineral media with propionate and sulfate were used. Three strains (1pr3, 2pr4, 3pr10) were isolated in pure culture. Propionate, lactate and alcohols were used as electron donors and carbon sources. Growth on H2 required acetate as a carbon source in the presence of CO2. Stoichiometric measurements revealed that oxidation of propionate was incomplete and led to acetate as an endproduct. Instead of sulfate, strain 1pr3 was shown to reduce sulfite and thiosulfate to H2S; nitrate also served as electron acceptor and was reduced to ammonia. With lactate or pyruvate, all three strains were able to grow without external electron acceptor and formed propionate and acetate as fermentation products. None of the strains contained desulfoviridin. In strain 1pr3 cytochromes of the b- and c-type were identified. Strain 1pr3 is described as type strain of the new species and genus, Desulfobulbus propionicus.

Key words

Anaerobic propionate degradation Lactate Incomplete oxidation Sulfate reduction Nitrate reduction Cytochromes Desulfobulbus propionicus 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedrich Widdel
    • 1
  • Norbert Pfennig
    • 1
  1. 1.Fakultät für BiologieUniversität KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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