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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 1980;46(5):443-55.

Ethane oxidation by methane-oxidizing bacteria.


The relationship between the rates of methane and ethane oxidation by washed suspensions of methane-oxidizing bacteria has been investigated. Considerable differences between bacterial strains were observed. Two closely related Methylomonas strains which differed in their oxidizing capacity were further investigated. The low ethane oxidation rate of one strain could be strongly stimulated by the addition of oxidizable co-substrates and the presence of ethane stimulated formate oxidation. The other strain had a much higher ethane oxidation rate and stimulation by co-substrates was negligible. Differences between the levels of dissimilative enzymes in cell-free extracts could not be detected. Attempts to produce extracts with methane mono-oxygenase activity failed. When cells were made permeable with chitosan the results suggested that strains with a low ethane oxidizing capacity obtain the required reductant for the moo-oxygenase from endogenous respiration. In strains with a high ethane oxidation rate, the reductant appears to be derived from oxidation of ethanol or acetaldehyde.

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