Bacterial yields on methanol, methylamine, formaldehyde, and formate

Biotechnology and Bioengineering
I GoldbergR I Mateles


Several bacteria utilizing C1-compounds as sole carbon sources were grown on these substrates in continuous culture. The molar yield values (g of cell dry wt/mol of substrate utilized) of bacteria which utilize C1-compounds via the ribulose monophosphate pathway were between 15.7 to 17.3 when grown on methanol; while the molar yield values of bacteria which use the serine pathway for the assimilation of C1-compounds varied between 9.8 and 13.1. The molar yield values of different bacteria which use the serine pathway decreased as the oxidation levels of the C1-growth substrates increased. On formaldehyde the values were between 7.2 to 9.6, whereas on formate the values varied from 3.3 to 6.9. It appears that bacteria utilize C1-compounds more efficiently via the ribulose monophosphate pathway than via the serine pathway. The oxidation step from methanol to formaldehyde (and from methylamine to formaldehyde) in the bacteria studied may be energy yielding. A comparison has been made between the experimental yield values obtained and theoretical values.


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