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Microbiol Immunol. 1984;28(6):637-44.

A study of cyanide-insensitive respiration in the genus Dekkera and Brettanomyces.


Dekkera intermedia and Brettanomyces custersii were shown to have a respiratory pathway resistant to cyanide, antimycin A, and azide. This respiration remained sensitive to salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM). The "cyanide-resistant" respiration was induced mainly at the end of the growth phase and could reach 50% of total respiratory capacity. The mitochondrial "petite colony" mutation had no effect on this oxidation pathway. The presence of this respiration pathway in these strains constitutes a compensation mechanism for the reducing activity of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. This alternate pathway would thus be a fundamental element of the Custer effect, a characteristic feature of these strains.

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