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J Bacteriol. 1985 Sep;163(3):1237-42.

Influence of transport energization on the growth yield of Escherichia coli.


The growth yields of Escherichia coli on glucose, lactose, galactose, maltose, maltotriose, and maltohexaose were estimated under anaerobic conditions in the absence of electron acceptors. The yields on these substrates exhibited significant differences when measured in carbon-limited chemostats at similar growth rates and compared in terms of grams (dry weight) of cells produced per mole of hexose utilized. Maltohexaose was the most efficiently utilized substrate, and galactose was the least efficiently utilized under these conditions. All these sugars were known to be metabolized to glucose 6-phosphate and produced the same pattern of fermentation products. The differences in growth yields were ascribed to differences in energy costs for transport and phosphorylation of these sugars. A formalized treatment of these factors in determining growth yields was established and used to obtain values for the cost of transport and hence the energy-coupling stoichiometries for the transport of substrates via proton symport and binding-protein-dependent mechanisms in vivo. By this approach, the proton-lactose stoichiometry was found to be 1.1 to 1.8 H+ per lactose, equivalent to approximately 0.5 ATP used per lactose transported. The cost of transporting maltose via a binding-protein-dependent mechanism was considerably higher, being over 1 to 1.2 ATP per maltose or maltodextrin transported. The formalized treatment also permitted estimation of the net ATP yield from the metabolism of these sugars; it was calculated that the growth yield data were consistent with the production of 2.8 to 3.2 ATP in the metabolism of glucose 6-phosphate to fermentation products.

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