Citrate can partially replace carbon dioxide required for growth of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis

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Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis was grown as batch cultures on a chemically defined medium. No growth was observed when the cultures were sparged with pure nitrogen (1.3l l−1 min−1) whereas the cultures displayed exponential growth in the presence of minute amounts of carbon dioxide (0.035 mol-% of the inlet gas). However, in the former case, the addition of citrate restored growth. This suggested that oxaloacetate required for aspartate biosynthesis can be formed by the carboxylation of pyruvate or by citrate catabolism. When the cultures were heavily sparged with nitrogen (2.6l l−1 min−1), no growth was observed even in the presence of citrate. This indicated that growth in these conditions was repressed by the absence of carbon dioxide required in some other biosynthetic reaction than in the carboxylation of pyruvate leading to oxaloacetate/aspartate biosynthesis.

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