Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 121, Issue 2, pp 121–127 | Cite as

The effects of temperature on the fatty acid and phospholipid composition of four obligately psychrophilicVibrio Spp.

  • M. Bhakoo
  • R. A. Herbert


The free fatty acid and phospholipid composition of 4 psychrophilic marineVibrio spp. have been determined in chemostat culture with glucose as the limiting substrate over a temperature range 0–20°C. All the isolates show maximum glucose and lactose uptake at 0°C and this correlates with maximum cell yield. None of the isolates contain fatty acids with a chain length exceeding 17 carbon atoms.Vibrio AF-1 andVibrio AM-1 respond to decreased growth temperatures by synthesizing increased proportions of unsaturated fatty acids (C15:1, C16:1 and C17:1) whereas inVibrio BM-2 the fatty acids undergo chain length shortening. The fourth isolate (Vibrio BM-4) contains high levels (60%) of hexadecenoic acid at all growth temperatures and the fatty acid composition changes little with decreasing temperature. The principal phospholipid components of the four psychrophilic vibrios were phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine and diphosphatidylglycerol. Lyso-phosphatidylethanolamine and 2 unknown phospholipids were additionally found inVibrio AF-1. The most profound effect of temperature on the phospholipid composition of these organisms was the marked increase in the total quantities synthesized at 0°C. At 15°C phosphatidylglycerol accumulated in the isolates as diphosphatidylglycerol levels decreased. Additionally inVibrio BM-2 andVibro BM-4 phosphatidylserine accumulates as phosphatidylethanolamine biosynthesis was similarly impaired. The observed changes in fatty acid and phospholipid composition in these organisms at 0°C may explain how solute transport is maintained at low temperature.

Key words

Psychrophiles Vibrio Fatty acids Phospholipids Cell yield Substrate uptake 










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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bhakoo
    • 1
  • R. A. Herbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesThe UniversityDundee(Scotland)

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