KNAW Repository

Fermentation in cyanobacteria

Stal, L.J. and Moezelaar, R. (1997) Fermentation in cyanobacteria. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 21, 179-211. ISSN 0168-6445.

[img]PDF - Published Version
Restricted to KNAW only

3386Kb

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6976.1997.tb00350.x

Abstract

Although cyanobacteria are oxygenic phototrophic organisms, they often thrive in environments that become periodically anoxic. This is particularly the case in the dark when photosynthetic oxygen evolution does not take place. Whereas cyanobacteria generally utilize endogenous storage carbohydrate by aerobic respiration, they must use alternative ways for energy generation under dark anoxic conditions. This aspect of metabolism of cyanobacteria has received little attention but nevertheless in recent years a steadily increasing number of publications have reported the capacity of fermentation in cyanobacteria. This review summarizes these reports and gives a critical consideration of the energetics of dark fermentation in a number of species. There are a variety of different fermentation pathways in cyanobacteria. These include home-and heterolactic acid fermentation, mixed acid fermentation and homoacetate fermentation, Products of fermentation include CO2, H-2, formate, acetate, lactate and ethanol. In all species investigated, fermentation is constitutive. All enzymes of the fermentative pathways are present in photoautotrophically grown cells. Many cyanobacteria are also capable of using elemental sulfur as electron acceptor. In most cases it seems unlikely that sulfur respiration occurs, The main advantage of sulfur reduction seems to be the higher yield of ATP which can be achieved during fermentation. Besides oxygen and elemental sulfur no other electron accepters for chemotrophic metabolism are known so far in cyanobacteria. Calculations show that the yield of ATP during fermentation, although it is low relative to aerobic respiration, exceeds the amount that is likely to be. required for maintenance, which appears to be very low in these cyanobacteria. The possibility of a limited amount oi biosynthesis during anaerobic dark metabolism is discussed. [KEYWORDS: fermentation; cyanobacteria; dark metabolism; Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway; lactate dehydrogenase; lactate fermentation; mixed acid fermentation; sulfur reduction Blue-green-alga; oscillatoria-agardhii gomont; spring microbial mat; light-dark cycle; solar lake sinai; heterotrophic growth; unicellular cyanobacterium; ferredoxin oxidoreductase; anaerobic conditions; anoxygenic photosynthesis]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:10544
Deposited On:25 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 09:55

Repository Staff Only: item control page