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Appl Environ Microbiol. Nov 1988; 54(11): 2742–2749.
PMCID: PMC204366

Fermentation of peptides and amino acids by a monensin-sensitive ruminal Peptostreptococcus.


A monensin-sensitive ruminal peptostreptococcus was able to grow rapidly (growth rate of 0.5/h) on an enzymatic hydrolysate of casein, but less than 23% of the amino acid nitrogen was ever utilized. When an acid hydrolysate was substituted for the enzymatic digest, more than 31% of the nitrogen was converted to ammonia and cell protein. Coculture experiments and synergisms with peptide-degrading strains of Bacteroides ruminicola and Streptococcus bovis indicated that the peptostreptococcus was unable to transport certain peptides or hydrolyze them extracellularly. Leucine, serine, phenylalanine, threonine, and glutamine were deaminated at rates of 349, 258, 102, 95, and 91 nmol/mg of protein per min, respectively. Deamination rates for some other amino acids were increased when the amino acids were provided as pairs of oxidized and reduced amino acids (Stickland reactions), but these rates were still less than 80 nmol/mg of protein per min. In continuous culture (dilution rate of 0.1/h), bacterial dry matter and ammonia production decreased dramatically at a pH of less than 6.0. When dilution rates were increased from 0.08 to 0.32/h (pH 7.0), ammonia production increased while production of bacterial dry matter and protein decreased. These rather peculiar kinetics resulted in a slightly negative estimate of maintenance energy and could not be explained by a change in fermentation products. Approximately 80% of the cell dry matter was protein. When corrections were made for cell composition, the yield of ATP was higher than the theoretical maximum value. It is possible that mechanisms other than substrate-level phosphorylation contributed to the energetics of growth.

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Selected References

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