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Open Access A comparison of fermentation in the cyanobacterium Microcystis PCC7806 grown under a light/dark cycle and continuous light

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Abstract:

The cyanobacterium Microcystis PCC7806, grown under continuous light, fermented endogenously stored glycogen to equimolar amounts of acetate and ethanol when incubated anaerobically in the dark. In addition, H2, CO2 and some l-lactate were produced. This fermentation pattern differed from that displayed by cells which had been grown under an alternating light/dark (16/8 h) cycle. Such cells produced much more ethanol than acetate, while no lactate was formed. These differences could not be related to the levels of key enzymes of fermentation, which were identical in the two cultures. The cultures grown under continuous light contained twice as much glycogen as the light/dark-grown cells and the former metabolized it at a rate approximately 3 times as fast as the latter culture. Fermentation in the culture grown under continuous light showed low carbon recovery (59-80%) and high oxidation/reduction balance (approximately 1.5). On the basis of calculations of ATP yield it was concluded that this culture was capable of growth driven by fermentation. The increase in structural cell material would account for the missing carbon and reduction equivalents.

Keywords: Cyanobacterium; Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway; acetate kinase; alcohol dehydrogenase; dark metabolism; fermentation; hydrogenase; lactate dehydrogenase; light/dark cycle; pyruvate: ferredoxin oxidoreductase

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09670269710001737309

Affiliations: Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Centre for Estuarine and Coastal Ecology, PO Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke, The Netherlands

Publication date: 1997-11-26

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