Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 9, pp 3875–3885 | Cite as

Cobalamin is produced by Acetobacter pasteurianus DSM 3509

  • Clemens Bernhardt
  • Xuan Zhu
  • David Schütz
  • Markus Fischer
  • Bernward BispingEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Only a few cobalamin-producing bacterial species are known which are suitable for food fermentations. The strain of Acetobacter pasteurianus DSM 3509 was found to have the capability to synthesize cobalamin. A survival test and a preliminary genetic study of the gene of uroporphyrinogen-III synthase indicated the ability to synthesize cobalamin. By a modified microbiological assay based on Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. lactis DSM 20355, 4.57 ng/mL of cyanocorrinoids and 0.75 ng/mL of noncorrinoid growth factors were detected. The product extracted and isolated by immunoaffinity chromatography in its cyanide form had the similar UV spectrum as standard cyanocobalamin and Coα-[α-(7-adenyl)]-(Coβ-cyano) cobamide also known as pseudovitamin B12 produced by Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 20016. The chromatographically separated product of A. pasteurianus was subjected to mass spectrometrical analysis. There, its fragmentation pattern turned out to be equivalent to that of cyanocobalamin also produced by Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp. freudenreichii DSM 20271 and clearly differs from pseudovitamin B12. Due to the presence of this species in several food applications, there might be cobalamin residues in food fermented with these bacteria.


Acetobacteraceae Vitamin B12 Pseudovitamin B12 Immunoaffinity chromatography 



We thank Andrew D. Farr for helpful comments and proof-reading.

Funding information

We are grateful to Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst for financial support to Xuan Zhu. This work was supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Bonn-Bad Godesberg) grant 0315825.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamburg School of Food Science, Biocenter Klein Flottbek, Division of Food Microbiology and BiotechnologyUniversity of HamburgHamburgFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.School of Food Science and BioengineeringZhejiang Gongshang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Hamburg School of Food Science, Division of Food ChemistryUniversity of HamburgHamburgFederal Republic of Germany

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