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Mikrobiologiia. 2004 Nov-Dec;73(6):725-33.

[The role of oxygen in the regulation of the metabolism of aerotolerant spirochetes, a major component of "Thiodendron" bacterial sulfur mats].

[Article in Russian]


Two spirochete strains isolated earlier from "Thiodendron" bacterial sulfur mats grew better under microaerobic (0.3-0.5 mg O2/l) than under anaerobic conditions. The microaerobic growth of these strains was accompanied by a twofold increase in the cell yield and the efficiency of glucose utilization, despite an amount of ATP (and hence glucose) was spent in this case for the synthesis of exopolysaccharides. Glucose metabolism under microaerobic conditions gave rise to more oxidized products (acetate and carbon dioxide) than under anaerobic conditions (formate, ethanol, pyruvate, and hydrogen). The paper considers two putative mechanisms implemented by aerotolerant spirochetes: adaptive (the use of a more efficient pathway of glucose catabolism) and protective (an enhanced synthesis of exopolysaccharides and the reduction of hydrogen peroxide by the reduced sulfur compounds thiosulfate and sulfide, yielding elemental sulfur). The formation of "Thiodendron" bacterial sulfur mats in saltwater environments is also discussed.

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