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Res Microbiol. 1995 May;146(4):279-90.

Taxonomic diversity of anaerobic glycerol dissimilation in the Enterobacteriaceae.

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  • 1Unité des Entérobactéries, Unité INSERM 389, Institut Pasteur, Paris.


A total of 1,123 strains representing 128 taxa in the Enterobacteriaceae (named species or subspecies and genomic species) were screened for the presence of glycerol dehydrogenases and 1,3-propanediol dehydrogenase. Only eight taxa, Citrobacter freundii sensu stricto, C. youngae, C. braakii, C. werkmanii, Citrobacter genomospecies 10 and 11, Enterobacter gergoviae and Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae could grow fermentatively on glycerol and possessed both glycerol dehydrogenase type I (induced by glycerol and dihydroxyacetone) and 1,3-propanediol dehydrogenase which are typical enzymes of the anaerobic glycerol dissimilation pathway. Six other species, C. koseri, E. aerogenes, E. intermedium, K. oxytoca, K. planticola and K. terrigena could not grow fermentatively on glycerol and possessed a glycerol dehydrogenase type I but no 1,3-propanediol dehydrogenase. Other glycerol dehydrogenases types were found: type II (induced by glycerol and hydroxyacetone), type III (induced by glycerol only) and type IV (induced by hydroxyacetone only). They were widely distributed among the Enterobacteriaceae. Classification and identification may take advantage of tests exploring the dissimilation of glycerol.

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