Phenotypic properties of : Comparative aspectsSulfobacillus thermotolerans: Comparative aspects

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The phenotypic characteristics of the species Sulfobacillus thermotolerans Kr1T, as dependent on the cultivation conditions, are described in detail. High growth rates (0.22–0.30 h−1) and high oxidative activity were recorded under optimum mixotrophic conditions at 40 °C on medium with inorganic (Fe(II), S0, or pyrite-arsenopyrite concentrate) and organic (glucose and/or yeast extract) substrates. In cells grown under optimum conditions on medium with iron, hemes a, b, and, most probably, c were present, indicating the presence of the corresponding cytochromes. Peculiar extended structures in the form of cylindrical cords, never observed previously, were revealed; a mucous matrix, likely of polysaccharide nature, occurred around the cells. In the cells of sulfobacilli grown litho-, organo-, and mixotrophically at 40 °C, the enzymes of the three main pathways of carbon utilization and some enzymes of the TCA cycle were revealed. The enzyme activity was maximum under mixotrophic growth conditions. The growth rate in the regions of limiting temperatures (55 °C and 12–14 °C) decreased two-and tenfold, respectively; no activity of 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, one of the key enzymes of the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, could be revealed; and a decrease in the activity of almost all enzymes of glucose metabolism and of the TCA cycle was observed. The rate of 14CO2 fixation by cells under auto-, mixo-, and heterotrophic conditions constituted 31.8, 23.3, and 10.3 nmol/(h mg protein), respectively. The activities of RuBP carboxylase (it peaked during lithotrophic growth) and of carboxylases of heterotrophic carbon dioxide fixation were recorded. The physiological and biochemical peculiarities of the thermotolerant bacillus are compared versus moderately thermophilic sulfobacilli.

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