Unstudied sources of energy for bacteria.II.

Vainshtain VAIN at ibpm.serpukhov.su
Wed Oct 18 02:06:06 EST 1995

     There are two well known sources of energy for bacteria. They
are: i) energy of oxidation/reduction processes; ii) energy of
visible light. I'd like to discuss three sources of energy more:
polymerisation of sulphur droplets, UV-light, and intracellular
magnetic inclusions. Last time (28 Sept 1995) I've sent to net the
data on sulphur polymerisation. 

     1. At least two groups of anaerobic microorganisms are known
which have cell components producing specific biochemical reaction
with UV-light. They are some methanogenic archaebacteria and some
sulfate-reducing bacteria. For example, desulfoviridin is
distributed between Desulfovibrio species and works for transport of
electrons (Postgate J.R. The sulphate-reducing bacteria. Cambridge:
Cambridge Univ.Press, 1984, 208 p.)
     2. By modern publications on evolution of life, the most
ancient groups of microorganisms are anaerobic microorganisms
(including sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogens). The reasons
are: i) data on 16s-sequence, and ii) the idea that ancient
atmosphere contained no oxygen. Well, the last one means also the 
high penetration of UV-light to the Earth surface.
     3. I've tried to prove a suggestion that Desulfovibrio species
could co-use energy of UV-light. It was a lot of technical work:
preparation of special medium, pre-growing of strains, use of quartz
glass, germetization, etc. Our experiments with Dr.H.Hippe (German
Collection of Microorganisms) failed because we used the UV-lamps
for sterilization as source of UV-light. (They have a "wrong" linear
spectrum.) At least we (in co-operation together with my colleague 
Dr.A.Galoushko) got positive results using a spectropotometr modified 
as the source of UV-light. The results were reaction of cytochrome C 
measured with Shimadzu UV-160A. The reaction was reliable but very 
slight because the volume of illuminated/irradiated biomass - by 
technical reasons - was up to 3 % of total volume only.
     4. I'll be much obliged to person who will comment the topic or
will co-operate with experiments. Recently I'm not subscribed to
"bionet.microbio...",- kindly use my e-mail address:
vain at ibpm.serpukhov.su

     it was one remark only after my first message on unstudied
sources of energy for bacteria (I. Sulphur polymerisation). Have I
chosen a wrong net for microbiological discussion?
Dr.Mikhail Vainshtein
 Curator of bacteria of VKM; IBPhM, Russ.Acad.Sci., Pushchino;
 Assistant Professor, Pushchino State University.

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