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Ability to utilize lactate and related enzymes of a ruminal bacterium, Selenomonas ruminantium

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The ability of a nitrate-reducing and nitrite-reducing strain of Selenomonas ruminantium ssp. lactilytica (TH1) to utilize lactate was examined at the cell and enzyme levels. The TH1 strain was found to possess NAD-independent D-lactate dehydrogenase (iD-LDH), with little or no lactate racemase or L-lactate dehydrogenase, implying that TH1 virtually utilizes only the D-form of lactate. Therefore, the introduction of lactate racemase to TH1 may enhance its ability to utilize lactate in the rumen where both D-lactate and L-lactate are produced. Because lactate utilization by Megasphaera elsdenii in the rumen may increase methanogenesis, it is desirable to increase lactate utilization by S. ruminantium, which may decrease methanogenesis. However, the specific activity of iD-LDH, which represents the amount of enzyme per cell, in TH1 was approximately threefold lower than M. elsdenii. Properties of iD-LDH, such as optimal pH and temperature, affinity for D-lactate, and effect of metal ions, did not differ greatly between TH1 and M. elsdenii. The specific activity of iD-LDH in TH1 increased as the D-lactate concentration in the medium increased, suggesting that iD-LDH synthesis is regulated in response to D-lactate. On the contrary, no iD-LDH activity was detected when TH1 was grown in the presence of glucose, even when D-lactate was present. This result suggests that iD-LDH synthesis is strongly suppressed by glucose. In order to improve the ability of S. ruminantium to utilize lactate and reduce nitrate and nitrite, it is important to enhance iD-LDH synthesis in addition to the introduction of lactate racemase.
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Keywords: Megasphaera elsdenii; Selenomonas ruminantium; lactate dehydrogenase; lactate utilization; nitrate and nitrite reduction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Life Science, Meiji University, Higashimita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Japan

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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