Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 18–21 | Cite as

Several new substrates for Desulfovibrio vulgaris strain Marburg and a spontaneous mutant from it

  • Kazuhiro Tanaka
Original Papers


The ability of Desulfovibrio vulgaris strain Marburg (DSM 2119) to oxidize alcohols was surveyed in the presence and absence of hydrogen-scavenging anaerobes, Acetobacterium woodii and Methanospirillum hungatei. In the presence of sulfate, D. vulgaris grew not only on ethanol, 1-propanol, and 1-butanol, but also on isobutanol, 1-pentanol, ethyleneglycol, and 1,3-propanediol. Metabolism of these alcohols was simple oxidation to the corresponding acids, except with the last two substrates: ethyleneglycol was oxidized to glycolate plus acetate, 1,3-propanediol to 3-hydroxypropionate plus acetate. Experimental evidence was obtained, suggesting that 2-methoxyethanol was not utilized by all the cells of strain marburg, but by a spontaneous mutant. 2-Methoxyethanol was oxidized to methoxyacetate by the mutant. Co-culture of strain Marburg plus A. woodii grew on ethanol, 1-propanol, 1-butanol, and 1,3-propanediol in the absence of sulfate. Co-culture of strain Marburg plus M. hungatei grew on ethanol, 1-propanol, and 1-butanol, but not on ethyleneglycol and 1,3-propanediol, Co-culture of the mutant plus A. woodii or M. hungatei did not grow on 2-methoxyethanol.

Key words

Desulfovibrio vulgaris Acetobacterium woodii Methanospirillum hungatei Oxidation Alcohol 2-Methoxyethanol Spontaneous mutant Anaerobic Syntrophic Interspecies hydrogen transfer 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bache R, Pfennig N (1981) Selective isolation of Acetobacterium woodii on methoxylated aromatic acids and determination of growth yields. Arch Microbiol 130:255–261Google Scholar
  2. Badziong W, Thauer RK, Zeikus JG (1978) Isolation and characterization of Desulfovibrio growing on hydrogen plus sulfate as the sole energy source. Arch Microbiol 116:41–49Google Scholar
  3. Bryant MP (1972) Commentary on Hungate technique for culture of anaerobic bacteria. Am J Clin Nutr 25:1324–1328Google Scholar
  4. Bryant MP, Wolin EA, Wolin MJ, Wolfe RS (1967) Methanobacillus omelianski, a symbiotic association of two species of bacteria. Arch Microbiol 59:20–31Google Scholar
  5. Bryant MP, Campbell LL, Reddy CA, Crabill NR (1977) Growth of Desulfovibrio in lactate or ethanol media low in sulfate in association with H2-utilizing methanogenic bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol 33:1162–1169Google Scholar
  6. Buschhorn H, Dürre P, Gottschalk G (1989) Production and utilization of ethanol by the homoacetogen Acetobacterium woodii. Appl Environ Microbiol 55:1835–1840Google Scholar
  7. Cline E (1969) Spectrophotometric determination of hydrogensulfide in natural waters. Limmnol Oceanogr 14:454–458Google Scholar
  8. Dehning I, Schink B (1989) Malonomonas rubra gen. nov. sp. nov., a microaerotolerant anaerobic bacterium growing by decarboxylation of malonate. Arch Microbiol 151:427–433Google Scholar
  9. Eichler B, Schink B (1984) Oxidation of primary aliphatic alcohols by Acetobacterium carbinolicum sp. nov., a homoacetogenic anaerobe. Arch Microbiol 140:147–152Google Scholar
  10. Ferry JG, Smith PH, Wolfe RS (1974) Methanospirillum, new genus of methanogenic bacteria, and characterization of Methanospirillum hungatii sp. nov. Int J Syst Bacteriol 24:465–469Google Scholar
  11. Nanninga H, Gottschal JC (1987) Properties of Desulfovibrio carbinolicus sp. nov. and other sulfate-reducing bacteria isolated from an anaerobic-purification plant. Appl Environ Microbiol 53:802–809Google Scholar
  12. Patel GB, Khan AW, Agnew BJ, Colvin JR (1980) Isolation and characterization of an anaerobic, cellulolytic microorganism, Acetivibrio cellulolyticus gen. nov. sp. nov. Int J Syst Bacteriol 30:179–185Google Scholar
  13. Pfennig N (1978) Rhodococcus purpureus gen. nov. and sp. nov., a ringshaped vitamin B12-requiring member of the family Rhodospirillaceae. Int J Syst Bacteriol 28:283–288Google Scholar
  14. Schink B (1984) Fermentation of 2,3-butanediol by Pelobacter carbinolicus sp. nov. and Pelobacter propionicus sp. nov., and evidence for propionate formation from C2 compounds. Arch Microbiol 137:33–41Google Scholar
  15. Tanaka K, Nakamura K, Mikami E (1990) Fermentation of maleate by a gram-negative strictly anaerobic non-spore-former, Propionivibrio dicarboxylicus gen. nov., sp. nov. Arch Microbiol 154:323–328Google Scholar
  16. Toraya T, Fukui S (1982) Diol dehydrase. In: Dolphin D (ed) B12, vol 2. John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp 233–262Google Scholar
  17. Tschech A, Pfennig N (1984) Growth yield increase linked to caffeate reduction in Acetobacterium woodii. Arch Microbiol 137:163–167Google Scholar
  18. Widdel F (1988) Microbiology and ecology of sulfate- and sulfur-reducing bacteria. In: Zehnder AJB (ed) Biology of anaerobic microorganisms. John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp 469–585Google Scholar
  19. Widdel F, Pfennig N (1981) Studies on dissimilatory sulfate-reducing bacteria that decompose fatty acids. I. Isolation of new sulfate-reducing bacteria enriched with acetate from saline environments. Description of Desulfobacter postgatei gen. nov., sp. nov. Arch Microbiol 129:395–400Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiro Tanaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Fermentation Research InstituteTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations