Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 150, Issue 2, pp 131–137

The role of auxiliary oxidants in maintaining redox balance during phototrophic growth of Rhodobacter capsulatus on propionate or butyrate

  • David J. Richardson
  • Glenn F. King
  • David J. Kelly
  • Alastair G. McEwan
  • Stuart J. Ferguson
  • J. Barry Jackson
Original Papers

Abstract

Phototrophic growth of Rhodobacter capsulatus (formerly Rhodopseudomonas capsulata) under anaerobic conditions with either butyrate or propionate as carbonsource was dependent on the presence of either CO2 or an auxiliary oxidant. NO-3, N2O, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) or dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) were effective provided the appropriate anaerobic respiratory pathway was present. NO-3was reduced extensively to NO-3, TMAO to trimethylamine and DMSO to dimethylsulphide under these conditions. Analysis of culture fluids by nuclear magnetic resonance showed that two moles of TMAO or DMSO were reduced per mole of butyrate utilized and one mole of either oxidant was reduced per mole of propionate consumed. The growth rate of Rb. capsulatus on succinate or malate as carbon source was enhanced by TMAO in cultures at low light intensity but not at high light intensities. A new function for anaerobic respiration during photosynthesis is proposed: it permits reducing equivalents from reduced substrates to pass to auxiliary oxidants present in the medium. The use of CO2 or auxiliary oxidants under phototrophic conditions may be influence by the availability of energy from light. It is suggested that the nuclear magnetic resonance methodology developed could have further applications in studies of bacterial physiology.

Key words

Photosynthetic bacteria (Rhodobacter capsulatusPhototrophic growth Nitrate reduction TMAO reduction Redox balance NMR assay 

Abbreviations

DMS

dimethylsulphide

DMSO

dimethylsulphoxide

TMA

trimethylamine

TMAO

trimethylamine-N-oxide

NMR

nuclear magnetic resonance

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Richardson
    • 1
  • Glenn F. King
    • 2
  • David J. Kelly
    • 1
  • Alastair G. McEwan
    • 1
  • Stuart J. Ferguson
    • 2
  • J. Barry Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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