Inorganic Pyrophosphate: Energy Source for Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria of the Genus Desulfotomaculum

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Science  23 Jul 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4557, pp. 363-364
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4557.363


Sulfate-reducing bacteria belonging to the genus Desulfotomaculum utilized inorganic pyrophosphate as a source of energy for growth in the presence of fixed carbon (acetate and yeast extract) and sulfate. Pyrophosphate does not support the growth of Desulfovibrio under the same growth conditions. Over a limited range of concentrations, growth is proportional to pyrophosphate, and extracts of bacteria grown on pyrophosphate medium have enzymatic activities similar to extracts prepared from bacteria grown on medium containing lactate plus sulfate. The variety of cell types observed in crude anaerobic pyrophosphate-enrichment cultures from a marine environment suggests that this unique type of energy metabolism is not restricted to the sulfate-reducing bacteria of the genus Desulfotomaculum.