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The influence of lignin degradation products on xylose fermentation by Klebsiella pneumoniae


The inhibitory effects of seven closely related lignin degradation products on xylose fermentation by Klebsiella pneumoniae were studied. Compounds were added in varying concentrations. Less heavily substituted phenolics (at concentrations of, 0.1–0.4 g/l) were more inhibitory to growth and solvent production than vanillyl or syringyl derivatives. All of the cultures recovered from this inhibition after a prolonged incubation period. When the mechanism of the organism's recovery was investigated, GC and LC analysis showed that 43.5% of the vanillin was metabolized to vanillyl alcohol. Several unidentifiable compounds were also detected in trace amounts. K. pneumoniae also metabolized vanilly alcohol (54% of original supplement) and syringaldehyde; however, unlike vanillin, there was no predominant metabolite derived from these compounds. None of the metabolites derived from vanillyl alcohol could be identified while only the corresponding alcohol and trimethoxybenzene were identified among the syringaldehyde derived metabolites.

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Correspondence to Nora K. Nishikawa.

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Nishikawa, N.K., Sutcliffe, R. & Saddler, J.N. The influence of lignin degradation products on xylose fermentation by Klebsiella pneumoniae . Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 27, 549–552 (1988).

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  • Lignin
  • Xylose
  • Vanillin
  • Klebsiella Pneumoniae
  • Prolonged Incubation