The amount of ATP required for the formation of microbial cells growing under various conditions was calculated. It was assumed that the chemical composition of the cell was the same under all these conditions. The analysis of the chemical composition of microbial cells of Morowitz (1968) was taken as a base. It was assumed that 4 moles of ATP are required for the incorporation of one mole of amino acid into protein. The amount of ATP required on account of the instability and frequent regeneration of messenger RNA was calculated from data in the literature pertaining to the relative rates of synthesis of the various classes of RNA molecules in the cell. An estimate is given of the amount of ATP required for transport processes. For this purpose it was assumed that 0.5 mole of ATP is necessary for the uptake of 1 g-ion of potassium or ammonium, and 1 mole of ATP for the uptake of 1 mole of phosphate, amino acid, acetate, malate etc. The results of the calculations show that from preformed monomers (glucose, amino acids and nucleic acid bases) 31.9 g cells can be formed per g-mole of ATP when acetyl-CoA is formed from glucose. When acetyl-CoA cannot be formed from glucose and must be formed from acetate, Y MAXATP is only 26.4. For growth with glucose and inorganic salts a Y MAXATP value of 28.8 was found. Addition of amino acids was without effect on Y MAXATP but addition of nucleic acid bases increased the Y MAXATP value to that for cells growing with preformed monomers. Under these conditions 15–20% of the total ATP required for cell formation is used for transport processes. Much lower Y MAXATP values are found for growth with malate, lactate or acetate and inorganic salts. During growth on these substrates a greater part of the ATP required for cell formation is used for transport processes. The calculated figures are very close to the experimental values found.
The interrelations between Y MAXATP and YATP, the specific growth rate (μ), the maintenance coefficient (me) and the P/O rate are given. From a review of the literature evidence is presented that these parameters may vary under different growth conditions. It is concluded that in previous studies on the relation between ATP production and formation of cell material these effects have unjustly been neglected.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ackrell, B. A. C. andJones, C. W. 1971a. The respiratory system ofAzotobacter vinelandii. 1. Properties of phosphorylating respiratory membranes. — Eur. J. Biochem.20: 22–28.
Ackrell, B. A. C. andJones, C. W. 1971b. The respiratory system ofAzotobacter vinelandii 2. Oxygen effects. — Eur. J. Biochem.20: 29–35.
Barnes, E. M., Jr. 1972. Respiration-coupled glucose transport in membrane vesicles from Azotobacter vinelandii. — Arch. Biochem. Biophys.152: 795–799.
Bauchop, T. andElsden, S. R. 1960. The growth of microorganisms in relation to their energy supply. — J. Gen. Microbiol.23: 457–469.
Benemann, J. R., Yoch, D. C., Valentine, R. C. andArnon, D. I. 1971. The electron transport system in nitrogen fixation byAzotobacter. III. Requirements for NADPH-supported nitrogenase activity. — Biochim. Biophys. Acta226: 205–212.
Bragg, P. D., Davies, P. L. andHou, C. 1972. Function of energy-dependent transhydrogenase inEscherichia coli. — Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm.47: 1248–1255.
Chung, A. E. 1970. Pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase fromAzotobacter vinelandii. — J. Bacteriol.102: 438–447.
Colowick, S. P., Kaplan, N. O., Neufield, E. F. andCiotti, M. M. 1952. Pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase. I. Indirect evidence for the reaction and purification of the enzyme. — J. Biol. Chem.195: 95–106.
Dalton, H. and Postgate, J. R. 1969. Growth and physiology ofAzotobacter chroococcum in continuous culture. — J. Gen. Microbiol.56: 307–319.
Decker, K., Jungermann, K. andThauer, R. K. 1970. Energy production in anaerobic organisms. — Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.9: 138–158.
Forrest, W. W. andWalker, D. J. 1971. The generation and utilization of energy during growth. — Advan. Microb. Physiol.5: 213–274.
Fraenkel, D. G. 1968. Selection ofEscherichia coli mutants lacking glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase or gluconate-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. — J. Bacteriol.95: 1267–1271.
Goldfine, H. 1972. Comparative aspects of bacterial lipids. — Advan. Microb. Physiol.8: 1–58.
Gunsalus, I. C. andShuster, C. W. 1961. Energy-yielding metabolism in bacteria, p. 1–58.In I. C. Gunsalus and R. Y. Stanier, (eds.), The Bacteria, Vol. 2. — Academic Press, New York and Londen.
Hadjipetrou, L. P., Gerrits, J. P., Teulings, F. A. G. andStouthamer, A. H. 1964. Relation between energy production and growth ofAerobacter aerogenes. — J. Gen. Microbiol.36: 139–150.
Harold, F. M. 1972. Conservation and transformation of energy by bacterial membranes. — Bacteriol. Rev.36: 172–230.
Hernandez, E. andJohnson, M. J. 1967. Energy supply and cell yield in aerobically grown microorganisms. — J. Bacteriol.94: 996–1001.
Hill, S., Drozd, J. W. andPostgate, J. R. 1972. Environmental effects on the growth of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. — J. Appl. Chem. Biotechnol.22: 541–558.
Jones, C. W., Brice, J. M., Wright, V. andAckrell, B. A. C. 1973. Respiratory protection of nitrogenase inAzotobacter vinelandii. — FEBS Letters29: 77–81.
Kaback, H. R. 1970. Transport. — Annu. Rev. Biochem.39: 561–598.
Kaback, H. R. 1972. Transport across isolated bacterial cytoplasmic membranes. — Biochim. Biophys. Acta265: 367–416.
Kapralek, F. 1972. The physiological role of tetrathionate respiration in growingCitrobacter. — J. Gen. Microbiol.71: 133–139.
Keister, D. L. andHemmes, R. B. 1966. Pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase fromChromatium. — J. Biol. Chem.241: 2820–2825.
Lengyel, P. andSöll, D. 1969. Mechanism of protein biosynthesis. — Bacteriol. Rev.33: 264–301.
Lucas-Lenard, J. andLipmann, F. 1971. Protein biosynthesis. — Annu. Rev. Biochem.40: 409–448.
McGill, D. J. andDawes, E. A. 1971. Glucose and fructose metabolism inZymomonas anaerobia. — Biochem. J.125: 1059–1068.
McKechnie, I. andDawes, E. A. 1969. An evaluation of the pathways of metabolism of glucose, gluconate and 2-oxogluconate byPseudomonas aeruginosa by measurement of molar growth yields. — J. Gen. Microbiol.55: 341–349.
Mahler, H. R. andCordes, E. H. 1966. Biological chemistry, p. 872. — Harper and Row, New York.
Mandelstamm, J. andMcQuillen, K. 1968. Biochemistry of bacterial growth, p. 540. — Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford and Edinburgh.
Mitchell, P. 1970. Membrane of cells and organelles: Morphology, transport and metabolism, p. 121–166.In Organization and control in procaryotic and eucaryotic cells, Symp. Soc. Gen. Microbiol., 20th. — Cambridge University Press, London.
Morowitz, H. J. 1968. Energy flow in biology: biological organization as a problem in thermal physics. — Academic Press, New York.
Nagai, S., Nishizawa, Y. andAiba, S. 1969. Energetics of growth ofAzotobacter vinelandii in a glucose-limited chemostat culture. — J. Gen. Microbiol.59: 163–169.
Norris, T. E. andKoch, A. L. 1972. Effect of growth rate on the relative rates of synthesis of messenger, ribosomal and transfer RNA inEscherichia coli. — J. Mol. Biol.64: 633–649.
Payne, W. J. 1970. Energy yields and growth of heterotrophs. Annu. Rev. Microbiol.24: 17–52.
Pirt, S. J. 1965. The maintenance energy of bacteria in growing cultures. — Proc. Roy. Soc. London163B: 224–231.
Reaveley, D. A. andBurge, R. E. 1972. Walls and membranes in bacteria. — Advan. Microb. Physiol.7: 1–81.
Schairer, H. U. andHaddock, B. A. 1972. β-Galactoside accumulation in a Mg2+-, Ca2+-activated ATPase deficient mutant ofE. coli. — Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm.48: 544–551.
Simoni, R. D. andShallenberger, M. K. 1972. Coupling of energy to active transport of amino acids inEscherichia coli. — Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.69: 2663–2667.
Stouthamer, A. H. 1969. Determination and significance of molar growth yields, p. 629–663.In J. R. Norris and D. W. Ribbons, (eds.), Methods in microbiology, Vol. 1. — Academic Press, New York and London.
Stouthamer, A. H. andBettenhaussen, C. W. 1972. Influence of hydrogen acceptors on growth and energy production ofProteus mirabilis. — Antonie van Leeuwenhoek38: 81–90.
Stouthamer, A. H. andBettenhaussen, C. 1973. Utilization of energy for growth and maintenance in continuous and batch cultures of microorganisms. A reevaluation of the method for the determination of ATP production by measuring molar growth yields. — Biochim. Biophys. Acta301: 53–70.
Tempest, D. W., Dicks, J. W. andHunter, J. R. 1966. The interrelationship between potassium, magnesium and phosphorus in potassium-limited chemostat cultures ofAerobacter aerogenes. — J. Gen. Microbiol.45: 135–146.
van Uden, N. 1969. Kinetics of nutrient-limited growth. — Annu. Rev. Microbiol.23: 473–486.
de Vries, W., Kapteijn, W. M. C., van der Beek, E. G. andStouthamer, A. H. 1970. Molar growth yields and fermentation balances ofLactobacillus casei L3 in batch cultures and in continuous cultures. — J. Gen. Microbiol.63: 333–345.
White, D. C. andSinclair, P. R. 1971. Branched electron-transport systems in bacteria. — Advan. Microb. Physiol.5: 173–211.
About this article
Cite this article
Stouthamer, A.H. A theoretical study on the amount of ATP required for synthesis of microbial cell material. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 39, 545–565 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02578899