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J Bacteriol. 1994 Mar;176(5):1443-50.

Regulation of carbon and electron flow in Clostridium acetobutylicum grown in chemostat culture at neutral pH on mixtures of glucose and glycerol.

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Centre de Bioingénierie Gilbert Durand, UA-CNRS 544, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, Toulouse, France.


The metabolism of Clostridium acetobutylicum was manipulated, at neutral pH and in chemostat culture, by changing the overall degree of reduction of the substrate, using mixtures of glucose and glycerol. Cultures grown on glucose alone produced only acids, and the intracellular enzymatic pattern indicated the absence of butyraldehyde dehydrogenase activity and very low levels of coenzyme A-transferase, butanol, and ethanol dehydrogenase activities. In contrast, cultures grown on mixtures of glucose and glycerol produced mainly alcohols and low levels of hydrogen. The low production of hydrogen was not associated with a change in the hydrogenase level but was correlated with the induction of a ferredoxin-NAD reductase and a decreased level of NADH-ferredoxin reductase. The production of alcohols was related to the induction of a NAD-dependent butyraldehyde dehydrogenase and to higher expression of NAD-dependent ethanol and butanol dehydrogenases. The coenzyme A-transferase was poorly expressed, and thus no acetone was produced. These changes in the enzymatic pattern, obtained with cultures grown on a mixture of glucose and glycerol, were associated with a 7-fold increase of the intracellular level of NADH and a 2.5-fold increase of the level of ATP.

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