Phenyl methyl ethers: novel electron donors for respiratory growth of Desulfitobacterium hafniense and Desulfitobacterium sp. strain PCE-S
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Desulfitobacterium hafniense and Desulfitobacterium sp. strain PCE-S grew under anoxic conditions with a variety of phenyl methyl ethers as electron donors in combination with fumarate as electron acceptor. The phenyl methyl ethers were O-demethylated to the corresponding phenol compounds. O-demethylation was strictly dependent on the presence of fumarate; no O-demethylation occurred with CO2 as electron acceptor. One mol phenyl methyl ether R-O-CH3 was O-demethylated to R-OH per 3 mol fumarate reduced to succinate. The growth yields with vanillate or syringate plus fumarate were approximately 15 g cells (dry weight) per mol methyl moiety converted. D. hafniense utilized vanillate or syringate as an electron donor for reductive dehalogenation of 3-Cl-4-hydroxyphenylacetate, whereas strain PCE-S was not able to dechlorinate tetrachloroethene with phenyl methyl ethers. Crude extracts of both organisms showed O-demethylase activity in the O-demethylase assay with vanillate or syringate as substrates when the organism was grown on syringate plus fumarate. Besides the homoacetogenic bacteria, only growing cells of Desulfitobacterium frappieri PCP-1 have thus far been reported to be capable of phenyl methyl ether O-demethylation. This present study is the first report of Desulfitobacteria utilizing phenyl methyl ethers as electron donors for fumarate reduction and for growth.
KeywordsDesulfitobacterium hafniense Desulfitobacterium sp. strain PCE-S Reductive dehalogenation O-demethylation O-demethylase Phenyl methyl ether Vanillate Syringate Fumarate reduction Dehalorespiration
This work was supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the EC, and the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie.
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