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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 1997 Aug;72(2):91-100.

Thermophysiology of Streptococcus mutans and related lactic-acid bacteria.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY 14642-8672, USA.


The temperature ranges for growth of Streptococcus mutans GS-5 and S. sobrinus 6715 were found to be very narrow, from about 30 to 47 degrees C, with optimal growth around 37 degrees C. Thus, the organisms showed little potential to grow in the environment outside of the animal host. In contrast wider ranges were found for Enterococcus hirae, S. rattus and S. sanguis. Detailed study of S. mutans GS-5 showed that energetic coupling, reflected in yields of biomass per mol of glucose utilized, were not greatly affected by changes in temperature within the growth range. However, since glycolysis occurred over a wider temperature range (about 10 to 52 degrees C) than growth, yield values dropped to zero at temperatures above or below the growth range. The temperature range for glycolysis could be related to temperature sensitivity of the phosphoenolypyruvate: sugar phosphotransferase system for sugar uptake. F-ATPases were active over a similar range of temperatures, but with a broad optimal range from about 30 to 50 degrees C. Proton permeability of S. mutans increased steadily with temperature in a manner similar to that of other mesophilic bacteria, such as Escherichia coli. Growth of the bacteria in media supplemented with various fatty acids had major effects on proton permeabilities but the effects were not well reflected by changes in growth or glycolysis of the bacteria. The overall conclusions were that S. mutans is a typical mesophile in relation to membrane and catabolic functions but its narrow temperature range for growth is related to temperature sensitivities of anabolic systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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