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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009;16(1-2):69-80. doi: 10.1159/000142895. Epub 2008 Oct 29.

Physiology of acetic acid bacteria in light of the genome sequence of Gluconobacter oxydans.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn, Bonn, Deutschland.


Acetic acid bacteria are a distinct group of microorganisms within the family Acetobacteriaceae. They are characterized by their ability to incompletely oxidize a wide range of carbohydrates and alcohols. The great advantage of these reactions is that many substrates are regio- and stereoselectively oxidized. This feature is already exploited in several combined biotechnological-chemical procedures for the synthesis of sugar derivatives. Therefore, it is important to understand the basic concepts of this type of physiology to construct strains for improved or new oxidative fermentations. Based on the genome sequence of Gluconobacteroxydans, we will shed light on the central carbon metabolism, the composition of the respiratory chain and the analysis of uncharacterized oxidoreductases. In this context, the role of membrane-bound and -soluble dehydrogenases are of major importance in the process of incomplete oxidation. Other topics deal with the question of how these organisms generate energy and assimilate carbon. Furthermore, we will discuss how acetic acid bacteria thrive in their nutrient-rich environment and how they outcompete other microorganisms.

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