PMID: 3707121Apr 1, 1986

Assimilatory reduction of sulfate and sulfite by methanogenic bacteria

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
L DanielsB S Rajagopal


A variety of sulfur-containing compounds were investigated for use as medium reductants and sulfur sources for growth of four methanogenic bacteria. Sulfide (1 to 2 mM) served all methanogens investigated well. Methanococcus thermolithotrophicus and Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum Marburg and delta H grew well with S0, SO3(2-), or thiosulfate as the sole sulfur source. Only Methanococcus thermolithotrophicus was able to grow with SO4(2-) as the sole sulfur source. 2-Mercaptoethanol at 20 mM was greatly inhibitory to growth of Methanococcus thermolithotrophicus on SO4(2-) or SO2(2-) and Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum Marburg on SO3(2-) but not to growth of strain delta H on SO3(2-). Sulfite was metabolized during growth by Methanococcus thermolithotrophicus. Sulfide was produced in cultures of Methanococcus thermolithotrophicus growing on SO4(2-), SO3(2-), thiosulfate, and S0. Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum Marburg was successfully grown in a 10-liter fermentor with S0, SO3(2-), or thiosulfate as the sole sulfur source.


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