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Acetogenesis from H_2 Plus CO_2 by Spirochetes from Termite Guts

Leadbetter, J. R. and Schmidt, T. M. and Graber, J. R. and Breznak, J. A. (1999) Acetogenesis from H_2 Plus CO_2 by Spirochetes from Termite Guts. Science, 283 (5402). pp. 686-689. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.283.5402.686.

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Pure cultures of termite gut spirochetes were obtained and were shown to catalyze the synthesis of acetate from H_2 plus CO_2. The 16S ribosomal DNA sequences of two strains were 98 percent similar and were affiliated with those of the genus Treponema. However, neither was closely related to any known treponeme. These findings imply an important role for spirochetes in termite nutrition, help to reconcile the dominance of acetogenesis over methanogenesis as an H_2 sink in termite hindguts, suggest that the motility of termite gut protozoa by means of attached spirochetes may be based on interspecies H_2 transfer, and underscore the importance of termites as a rich reservoir of novel microbial diversity.

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Leadbetter, J. R.0000-0002-7033-0844
Additional Information:© 1999 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 24 September 1998; accepted 24 December 1998. This paper is dedicated to Professor Ercole Canale- Parola, who introduced one of us ( J.A.B.) to the study of spirochetes many years ago, who inspired the current work, and who recently retired after more than three decades of making important contributions to microbiology. We thank T. G. Lilburn for helpful discussions, J. Shellman-Reeve for samples of Z. angusticollis, H. S. Pankratz for electron microscopy, K. S. Kim for technical assistance, and P. Lamoureux for production assistance. This work was supported by NSF grants IBN97-09000 ( J.A.B.) and BIR91-20006 (the Center for Microbial Ecology).
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Issue or Number:5402
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130430-095228258
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Official Citation:Acetogenesis from H2 Plus CO2 by Spirochetes from Termite Guts J. R. Leadbetter, T. M. Schmidt, J. R. Graber, and J. A. Breznak Science 29 January 1999: 283 (5402), 686-689. [DOI:10.1126/science.283.5402.686]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38177
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 May 2013 19:49
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:35

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