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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Aug;87(6):2209-26. doi: 10.1007/s00253-010-2741-x. Epub 2010 Jul 9.

A proteomic and transcriptional view of acidogenic and solventogenic steady-state cells of Clostridium acetobutylicum in a chemostat culture.

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Institut für Biowissenschaften, Universität Rostock, Germany.


The complex changes in the life cycle of Clostridium acetobutylicum, a promising biofuel producer, are not well understood. During exponential growth, sugars are fermented to acetate and butyrate, and in the transition phase, the metabolism switches to the production of the solvents acetone and butanol accompanied by the initiation of endospore formation. Using phosphate-limited chemostat cultures at pH 5.7, C. acetobutylicum was kept at a steady state of acidogenic metabolism, whereas at pH 4.5, the cells showed stable solvent production without sporulation. Novel proteome reference maps of cytosolic proteins from both acidogenesis and solventogenesis with a high degree of reproducibility were generated. Yielding a 21% coverage, 15 protein spots were specifically assigned to the acidogenic phase, and 29 protein spots exhibited a significantly higher abundance in the solventogenic phase. Besides well-known metabolic proteins, unexpected proteins were also identified. Among these, the two proteins CAP0036 and CAP0037 of unknown function were found as major striking indicator proteins in acidogenic cells. Proteome data were confirmed by genome-wide DNA microarray analyses of the identical cultures. Thus, a first systematic study of acidogenic and solventogenic chemostat cultures is presented, and similarities as well as differences to previous studies of batch cultures are discussed.

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