Unstudied sources of energy for bacteria. I. Polymerisation.

Vainshtain VAIN at ibpm.serpukhov.su
Thu Sep 28 08:04:03 EST 1995

     Dear Collegues:

     It is invitation to discussion. Three unstudied sources of
energy for bacteria are under consideration: polymerisation of
sulphur, UV-light, and intracellular magnetic inclusions.
     Today I begin with the first one. I'll be much obliged to 
person who will comment the topic or will cooperate with experiments 
and/or joint publication of discussion. Recently I'm not subscribed 
to "bionet.microbio...",- kindly use my e-mail address:
vain at ibpm.serpukhov.su

     1. Energy of polymerisation.
     1.1. The product of the sulfide (or thiosulfate) oxidation by
thionic bacteria is - mainly - elemental sulphur. It is well-known,
cf. Bergey's Manual, etc.
     1.2. Less known that the first stage of formation of sulphur
is inside of cells/inside of cell walls (exx.: Pivovarova T.A., Ka-
ravaiko G.I.-Submicroscopic organization of Thiobacillus neopolita-
nus and function of some structures. Microbiology, 1973, v.42, #4;
Pivovarova T.A., Karavaiko G.I.-Submicroscopical organization of
Thiobacillus thiocyanoxidans. Microbiology, 1973, v.42, #6). The
small submicroscopic droplets unite into the bigger one later, out
of cell.
     1.3. The same formation of sulphur droplets presents in cells
of some anaerbic purple sulphur bacteria too. The analyses of
sulphur droplets discovered that they are formed with colloidal
orthorombic sulphur (Hageage G.J., Eanes E.D., Gherna R.L.-X-ray
diffraction studies of the sulfur globules accumulated by Chromatium
species. J.Bacteriol., 1970, v.101, #2: 464-469).
     1.4. I don't know why,- but people never think that spelling
of reaction: H S + 1/2 O = H O + S + 63.5 kkal is unprecise. The
              2         2   2

molecule of sulphur is eight-atoms ring. In reality, the elemental

                o      o              o
sulphur is not S  but S . When atoms S  unite, they produce energy:
                       8              1
 o        o                     o                    o
S -->1/2 S + 37.8 kkal --> 1/4 S + 7.1 kkal --> 1/6 S + 3.5 kkal -->
 1        2                     4                    6

     o                    o                    o
1/8 S + 0.9 kkal --> 1/8 S + 2.5 kkal --> 1/8 S + 0.3 kkal -->
     8                    liquid               monocline

1/8 S + 0.1 kkal. All data are from: Remy H. Lehrbuch der anorga-

nischen Chemie (Band 1). Leipzig, Akademische Verlaggesellschaft Ge-
est & Portig K.-G., 1960.
     1.5. Well, let us forget about three last steps (crystallizati-
on). The steps from S  to 1/8 S   (= polymerization) accopany with
                     1         8
     The energy is produced inside of cells. Can bacteria use it, or
it is some kind of warming only,- it is a question.

Dr. Mikhail Vainshtein
 Curator of bacteria of VKM; IBPhM, Russ.Acad.Sci., Pushchino;
 Assistant Professor, Pushchino State University.

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