Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 293–298 | Cite as

Thermodynamic compensation in microbial thermal death

Studies with yeasts
  • N. Van Uden
  • M. M. Vidal-Leiria


Sixty eight Arrhenius plots of thermal death in six mesophilic yeast species, tested at various concentrations of NaCl, lacked an isokinetic temperature. Nevertheless the ΔH#S# plot was apparently linear with a slope corresponding to 314° K. It was concluded that linear thermodynamic compensation of thermal death is non-existent in heterogeneous groups of yeasts and is unlikely to occur in heterogeneous groups of other organisms and that ΔH#S# plots lack sensitivity for the detection of non-linearity over narrow temperature ranges.

However, the ΔH# and ΔS# parameters of thermal death displayed non-linear compensation in such a way that the extrapolated Arrhenius plots of death attained nearly identical values near the respective maximum temperatures for growth.

Linear thermodynamic compensation occurred in each of the six strains, when stationary populations of the same strain were tested at various NaCl concentrations. On the other hand, exponential populations of each of the strains, tested in the same way, lacked an isokinetic temperature of thermal death.

The significance of linear and non-linear thermodynamic compensation in biological rate processes is discussed.

Key words

Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Maximum temperature for growth Thermal death Linear thermodynamic compensation Non-linear thermodynamic compensation Isokinetic temperature 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Van Uden
    • 1
  • M. M. Vidal-Leiria
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of MicrobiologyGulbenkian Institute of ScienceOeirasPortugal

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