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The microbial logic behind the prevalence of incomplete oxidation of organic compounds by acetogenic bacteria in methanogenic environments

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jan Dolfing

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Abstract

Microbial degradation of organic material in methanogenic ecosystems is a multistep process in which subsequent groups use the products of the first groups of organisms in the chain as substrates. The acetogenic bacteria in these systems produce both H-2 and acetate. In the present minireview a thermodynamic approach is taken to evaluate the logic behind this duality. The evaluation shows that at the H-2 partial pressures that usually occur in methanogenic ecosystems the acetogenic oxidation of known acetogenic substrates such as propionate, butyrate, and benzoate yields mon energy than their complete oxidation to H-2/CO2. Also, H-2 partial pressures needed to achieve complete hydrogenogenic oxidation of these acetogenic substrates would have to be so low that H, would be virtually unavailable to the hydrogenotrophic bacteria, in casu the methanogens.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Dolfing J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Microbial Ecology

Year: 2001

Volume: 41

Issue: 2

Pages: 83-89

Print publication date: 01/02/2001

ISSN (print): 0095-3628

ISSN (electronic): 1432-184X

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s002480000076

DOI: 10.1007/s002480000076

Notes: Times Cited: 2 Cited Reference Count: 34 English Review MICROBIAL ECOL 420CN


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