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Biochem J. 1970 Nov;120(2):399-408.

Carbon dioxide fixation in green sulphur bacteria.


1. About one-third of the CO(2) fixed during photosynthesis by washed suspensions of Chlorobium thiosulfatophilum strain 8346 gave rise to alpha-oxoglutarate and branched-chain oxo acids, mainly beta-methyl-alpha-oxovalerate. Another one-third to one-half gave rise to a polyglucose. 2. The fixation of CO(2) was inhibited by fluoroacetate, increasing concentrations up to 1mm stimulating the accumulation of alpha-oxoglutarate and causing a decrease in the formation of the branched-chain oxo acids and polyglucose. 3. Acetate was converted into the same products as was CO(2). 4. Fluoroacetate (1mm) had a negligible effect on the formation of polyglucose from acetate and caused a slight inhibition of the formation of the branched-chain oxo acids and increased accumulation of alpha-oxoglutarate. 5. Iodoacetate (1mm) strongly inhibited polyglucose formation from acetate and caused accumulation of pyruvate. The formation of the branched-chain oxo acids from acetate was only slightly affected by this inhibitor. 6. Pyruvate can be metabolized by this organism in the presence of a suitable electron donor whether CO(2) is present or not. In the absence of CO(2) pyruvate is converted into polyglucose. 7. The accumulation of oxo acids during CO(2) fixation is completely inhibited by NH(4) (+) ions. The formation of the branched-chain oxo acids is considerably decreased by the presence of isoleucine, leucine or valine, or a mixture of these. 8. CO(2) fixation in two other strains of Chlorobium appears to exhibit a similar pattern to that in C. thiosulfatophilum strain 8346. 9. It is concluded that in washed suspensions, CO(2) is fixed mainly by a mechanism involving the reductive carboxylic acid cycle. Acetate, the product of the cycle, is converted into polyglucose via pyruvate synthase and a reversal of glycolysis or into branched-chain oxo acids by an unknown mechanism.

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