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Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 282–288 | Cite as

Sporomusa termitida sp. nov., an H2/CO2-utilizing acetogen isolated from termites

  • John A. Breznak
  • Jodi M. Switzer
  • H. -J. Seitz
Original Papers

Abstract

H2-oxidizing CO2-reducing acetogenic bacteria were isolated from gut contents of Nasutitermes nigriceps termites. Isolates were strictly anaerobic, Gram negative, endospore-forming, straight to slightly curved rods (0.5–0.8×2–8 μm) that were motile by means of lateral flagella. Cells were oxidase negative, but catalase positive and possessed a b-type cytochrome(s) associated with the cell membrane. Cells grew anaerobically with H2+CO2 as energy source and catalyzed a total synthesis of acetate from this gas mixture. H2 uptake by a representative isolate (strain JSN-2) displayed a Km=6 μM and Vmax=380 nmol x min-1 x mg protein-1. Other substrates used as energy sources for growth and acetogenesis included CO, methanol, betaine, trimethoxybenzoate, and various other organic acids. Succinate was also fermented, but propionate was formed from this substrate instead of acetate. Of a variety of sugars and sugar alcohols tested, only mannitol supported growth. Cells grew optimally at 30° C and pH 7.2 and required yeast extract or a source of amino acids (e.g. Casamino acids) for good growth. During initial enrichment and isolation, cells appeared sensitive to various reducing agents commonly employed in media for anaerobes. The DNA base composition of strain JSN-2 was 48.6 mol% G+C. On the bases of cell morphology, substrate utilization spectrum, and DNA base composition, strain JSN-2 is here-with proposed as the type strain of the new species Sporomusa termitida.

Key words

Sporomusa termitida Termite Nasutitermes nigriceps Gut microbe Hydrogen Acetogenic anaerobe 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Breznak
    • 1
  • Jodi M. Switzer
    • 1
  • H. -J. Seitz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Public HealthMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Fakultät für BiologieUniversität KonstanzKonstanz 1Federal Republic of Germany

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