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Microbiology. 1994 Jul;140 ( Pt 7):1723-9.

Is the Kluyver effect in yeasts caused by product inhibition?

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Department of Microbiology and Enzymology, Kluyver Laboratory of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.


Candida utilis CBS 621 exhibits the Kluyver effect for maltose, i.e. this yeast can respire maltose and is able to ferment glucose, but is unable to ferment maltose. When glucose was pulsed to a maltose-grown, oxygen-limited chemostat culture of C. utilis, ethanol formation from glucose started almost instantaneously, indicating that the enzymes needed for alcoholic fermentation are expressed in maltose-grown cells. However, the addition of glucose inhibited maltose metabolism. To eliminate a possible catabolite inhibition and/or repression of enzyme activities involved in maltose metabolism, the effect of simultaneously feeding glucose and maltose to an oxygen-limited, maltose-grown chemostat culture was studied. In this case, the glucose concentration in the culture remained below 0.1 mM, which makes glucose catabolite repression unlikely. Nevertheless, maltose metabolism appeared to cease when the culture was switched to the mixed feed. Based on the outcome of the mixed-substrate studies, it was postulated that the Kluyver effect may be caused by feedback inhibition of maltose utilization by ethanol, the product of fermentative maltose metabolism. If ethanol suppresses the utilization of non-fermentable disaccharides, this would provide a phenomenological explanation for the occurrence of the Kluyver effect: accumulation would then not occur and the rate of maltose metabolism would be tuned to the culture's respiratory capacity. This hypothesis was tested by studying growth of C. utilis CBS 621 and Debaryomyces castellii CBS 2923 in aerobic batch cultures on mixtures of sugars and ethanol.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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