|Küsel, K; Karnholz, A; Trinkwalter, T; Devereux, R; Acker, G; Drake, HL: Physiological ecology of Clostridium glycolicum RD-1, an aerotolerant acetogen isolated from sea grass roots, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67, 4734-4741 (2001)|
An anaerobic, H-2-utilizing bacterium, strain RD-1, was isolated from the highest growth-positive dilution series of a root homogenate prepared from the sea grass Halodule wrightii. Cells of RD-1 were gram-positive, spore-forming, motile rods that were linked by connecting filaments. Acetate was produced in stoichiometries indicative of an acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) pathway-dependent metabolism when RD-1 utilized H-2-CO2, formate, lactate, or pyruvate. Growth on sugars or ethylene glycol yielded acetate and ethanol as end products. RD-1 grew at the expense of glucose in the presence of low initial concentrations (up to 6% [vol/vol]) of O-2 in the headspace of static, horizontally incubated culture tubes; the concentration of O-2 decreased during growth in such cultures. Peroxidase, NADH oxidase, and superoxide dismutase activities were detected in the cytoplasmic fraction of cells grown in the presence of O-2. In comparison to cultures incubated under strictly anoxic conditions, acetate production decreased, higher amounts of ethanol were produced, and lactate and H-2 became significant end products when RD-1 was grown on glucose in the presence of O-2. Similarly, when RD-1 was grown on fructose in the presence of elevated salt concentrations, lower amounts of acetate and higher amounts of ethanol and HZ were produced. When the concentration of O-2 in the headspace exceeded 1% (vol/vol), supplemental H-2 was not utilized. The 16S rRNA gene of RD-1 had a 99.7% sequence similarity to that of Clostridium glycolicum DSM 1288(T), an organism characterized as a fermentative anaerobe. Comparative experiments with C. glycolicum DSM 1288(T) demonstrated that it had negligible H-2- and formate-utilizing capacities. However, carbon monoxide dehydrogenase was detected in both RD-I and C. glycolicum DSM 1288(T). A 91.4% DNA-DNA hybridization between the genomic DNA of RD-1 and that of C. glycolicum DSM 1288(T) confirmed that RD-I was a strain of C. glycolicum. These results indicate that (i) RD-I metabolizes certain substrates via the acetyl-CoA pathway, (ii) RD-1 can tolerate and consume limited amounts of O-2, (iii) oxic conditions favor the production of ethanol, lactate, and H-2 by RD-1, and (iv) the ability of RD-1 to cope with limited amounts of O-2 might contribute to its survival in a habitat subject to daily gradients of photosynthesis-derived O-2.