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Flow of 14C-methanol via assimilatory and dissimilatory sequences with yeast in presence of glucose

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Experiments were performed to reveal the extent to which individual heterotrophic substrates of a mixture contribute to the overall carbon and energy metabolism. For this reason Hansenula polymorpha MH 20 was chemostatically (C-limited) cultivated at different growth rates on mixtures of methanol and glucose fed at proportions of 3:1 and 1:3 (in weight units), respectively. The distributions of 14C-carbon from methanol in biomass as well as carbon dioxide (and supernatant) fractions were determined. From these results it followed, firstly, that energy derived from methanol dissimilation was used in part for the incorporation of glucose carbon, resulting in carbon conversion efficiencies for this substrate equivalent to yield coefficients of 0.61–0.69 g/g. Secondly, the growth yield data revealed that the efficiency of methanol conversion had to be increased in order to account for the experimentally determined yield figures. This was further confirmed by theoretical treatment of the growth yield data which showed that these could only be obtained if P/O-quotients for methanol conversion similar to those for glucose, i.e. 2.0–2.5, were considered. The latter property was regarded as the main reason for the observed improvement of growth yield accompanying the simultaneous utilization of methanol and glucose in this yeast.

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ATPM,a :

ATP required for incorporation of assimilated methanol at a given P/O-quotient

ATPM,d :

ATP generated from dissimilated methanol at a given P/O-quotient

G and M:

glucose and methanol; respectively (the indices u, a, d and e mean utilized, assimilated, dissimilated and incorporated by excess energy, respectively)


3-phosphoglyceric acid

Y G app :

apparent growth yield on glucose in presence of methanol

Y G P/O :

theoretical growth yield on glucose at a given P/O-quotient


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Correspondence to Roland H. Müller.

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Müller, R.H., Uhlenhut, G.J. & Babel, W. Flow of 14C-methanol via assimilatory and dissimilatory sequences with yeast in presence of glucose. Arch. Microbiol. 143, 77–81 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00414772

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Key words

  • Mixed substrate utilization
  • 14C-Methanol glucose
  • Efficiency of methanol dissimilation
  • Improvement of growth yield
  • Hansenula polymorpha