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Curr Microbiol. 1995 Feb;30(2):97-103.

Bacteria produce the volatile hydrocarbon isoprene.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309-0215.


Various bacterial species, both Gram-negative and Gram-positive, were found to produce the volatile hydrocarbon isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene). Out of the tested cultures, Bacillus produced the most isoprene. The production of isoprene from bacteria was confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Media and growth effects on isoprene production were investigated: growth in rich media led to higher levels of isoprene than growth in minimal media, and highest isoprene emission rates were seen in log-phase cultures. Temperature profiles for bacterial isoprene production showed an optimum of 45 degrees C and were suggestive of an enzymatic mechanism for isoprene formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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