Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 66, Issue 1–3, pp 209–221 | Cite as

Metabolism of homoacetogens

  • Gabriele Diekert
  • Gert Wohlfarth
Research Articles


Homoacetogenic bacteria are strictly anaerobic microorganisms that catalyze the formation of acetate from C1 units in their energy metabolism. Most of these organisms are able to grow at the expense of hydrogen plus CO2 as the sole energy source. Hydrogen then serves as the electron donor for CO2 reduction to acetate. The methyl group of acetate is formed from CO2 via formate and reduced C1 intermediates bound to tetrahydrofolate. The carboxyl group is derived from carbon monoxide, which is synthesized from CO2 by carbon monoxide dehydrogenase. The latter enzyme also catalyzes the formation of acetyl-CoA from the methyl group plus CO. Acetyl-CoA is then converted either to acetate in the catabolism or to cell carbon in the anabolism of the bacteria. The homoacetogens are very versatile anaerobes, which convert a variety of different substrates to acetate as the major end product.

Key words

acetate formation from CO2 anaerobic acetate degradation autotrophic CO2 fixation carbon monoxide dehydrogenase homoacetogenic bacteria 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriele Diekert
    • 1
  • Gert Wohlfarth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für MikrobiologieUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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