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J Bacteriol. 1982 Mar;149(3):852-63.

Nutrition and carbon metabolism of Methanococcus voltae.


Methanococcus voltae is a heterotrophic, H2-oxidizing methanogenic bacterium. In complex medium, this bacterium has a doubling time of 1.2 h at its temperature optimum of 38 degrees C. In defined medium, optimal growth is obtained with 0.75 mM isoleucine, 0.75 mM leucine, 2.5 mM acetate, 5 mM NH4Cl, 84 mM MgSO4, 0.4 M NaCl, 1 mM CaCl2, 10 microM Fe2O3, and 0.2 microM NiCl2. In addition, pantothenate, sodium selenate, and cobalt stimulate growth. Optimal growth is obtained between pH 6.0 and 7.0 with either H2 or formate as the electron donor. The volatile fatty acids 2-methylbutyrate and isovalerate can substitute for isoleucine and leucine, respectively. Cellular carbon is derived from acetate (31%), isoleucine (22%), leucine (25%), and carbon dioxide (23%). The amino acids and fatty acids are incorporated almost exclusively into protein. A comparison of the incorporation of U-14C-amino acids and 1-14C-fatty acids indicated that the fatty acids are degraded during incorporation into cell protein. The distribution of carbon from the amino acids suggests that acetyl coenzyme A is not a major intermediate in the degradation of these compounds. Thus, M. voltae may convert isoleucine and leucine to other amino acids by a unique mechanism. The lipid carbon is derived largely from acetate. Thus, the isoprenoid lipids are synthesized de novo from acetate rather than by degradation of leucine. The carbon in the nucleic acids is derived from carbon dioxide (45%), the C-1 of acetate (25%), the C-2 of acetate (22%), and isoleucine and leucine (7%). This labeling pattern is consistent with known biochemical pathways.

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