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J Bacteriol. 1987 Dec;169(12):5466-72.

Sulfur metabolism in Beggiatoa alba.

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  • 1Program of Environmental Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


The metabolism of sulfide, sulfur, and acetate by Beggiatoa alba was investigated under oxic and anoxic conditions. B. alba oxidized acetate to carbon dioxide with the stoichiometric reduction of oxygen to water. In vivo acetate oxidation was suppressed by sulfide and by several classic respiratory inhibitors, including dibromothymoquinone, an inhibitor specific for ubiquinones. B. alba also carried out an oxygen-dependent conversion of sulfide to sulfur, a reaction that was inhibited by several electron transport inhibitors but not by dibromothymoquinone, indicating that the electrons released from sulfide oxidation were shuttled to oxygen without the involvement of ubiquinones. Intracellular sulfur stored by B. alba was not oxidized to sulfate or converted to an external soluble form under aerobic conditions. On the other hand, sulfur stored by filaments of Thiothrix nivea was oxidized to extracellular soluble oxidation products, including sulfate. Sulfur stored by filaments of B. alba, however, was reduced to sulfide under short-term anoxic conditions. This anaerobic reduction of sulfur was linked to the endogenous oxidation of stored carbon and to hydrogen oxidation.

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