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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1982 Jun;43(6):1434-9.

Solvent Production and Morphological Changes in Clostridium acetobutylicum.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa.


The morphological and cytological changes which occurred in Clostridium acetobutylicum P262 during the production of acetone, butanol, and ethanol in an industrial fermentation medium were identified and correlated with the growth and physiological changes. The swollen, cigar-shaped clostridial forms were involved in the conversion of acids to neutral solvents, and there was a correlation between the number of clostridial forms and the production of solvents. Sporulation mutants which were unable to form clostridial stages (cls mutants) did not produce solvents. Oligosporogenous mutants which showed reduced clostridial stage formation produced intermediate levels of solvents. Sporulation mutants blocked after the clostridial stage, which were unable to form mature spores (spo mutants), produced normal levels of solvents.

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