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The internal pH of Acetobacterium wieringae and Acetobacter aceti during growth and production of acetic acid

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The intracellular pH was measured in growing Acetobacterium wieringae and Acetobacter aceti with an acid equilibrium distribution method. [14C]-acetylsalicylic acid, [14C-benzoic acid and [14C]-acetic acid were used as ΔpH-indicators. The extracellular pH of Acetobacterium wieringae decreased from 7.0 to 5.0 during growth; accordingly, the intracellular pH changed from 7.1 to 5.5, and a ΔpH between 0.1 and 0.65 (interior more alkaline) was maintained. Corresponding results were obtained for Acetobacter aceti. The external pH and the internal pH decreased in parallel from 6.2 to 3.5 and from 5.8 to 3.9, respectively.

This demonstrates that neither the anaerobic nor the aerobic acetogen was able to maintain a large ΔpH in the presence of high concentrations of acetic acid.

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Menzel, U., Gottschalk, G. The internal pH of Acetobacterium wieringae and Acetobacter aceti during growth and production of acetic acid. Arch. Microbiol. 143, 47–51 (1985).

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