Heterotrophic growth patterns in the unicellular alga Cyanidium caldarium
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A strain of Cyanidium caldarium has been studied which is able to grow in darkness using amino acids as sole energy sources. During growth ammonia was released into the external medium as a catabolic end product. With either threonine or glutamate similar rates of ammonia formation and similar kinetics of growth were observed. These observations suggest that the amounts of energy made available for cell growth from the two amino acids are equivalent.
Deamination of threonine and glutamate by whole cells exhibited similar temperature-dependence profiles and similar Arrhenius energies of activation. Thus it is suggested that a partially common pathway is involved in the catabolism of these amino acids. Threonine dehydrase may play a role in this pathway.
The threonine dehydrase of C. caldarium was inhibited by isoleucine and activated by valine. In the absence of isoleucine no cooperative effect of threonine was observed.
Succinate or 2-ketoglutarate supported a faster growth than did amino acids. Growth tests in the presence of both a krebs cycle intermediate and an amino acid have shown that the oxidative metabolism of amino acids is in some way controlled by the more suitable energy sources, presumably through catabolite inhibition and catabolite repression.
Key wordsCyanidium Amino acids catabolism Threonine dehydrase
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