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- Journal Article
Sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in subsurface sediments live under constant substrate and energy limitation, yet little is known about how they adapt to this mode of life. We combined controlled chemostat cultivation and transcriptomics to examine how the marine sulfate reducer, Desulfobacterium autotrophicum, copes with substrate (sulfate or lactate) limitation. The half-saturation uptake constant (Km) for lactate was 1.2 µM, which is the first value reported for a marine SRM, while the Km for sulfate was 3 µM. The measured residual lactate concentration in our experiments matched values observed in situ in marine sediments, supporting a key role of SRM in the control of lactate concentrations. Lactate limitation resulted in complete lactate oxidation via the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway and differential overexpression of genes involved in uptake and metabolism of amino acids as an alternative carbon source. D. autotrophicum switched to incomplete lactate oxidation, rerouting carbon metabolism in response to sulfate limitation. The estimated free energy was significantly lower during sulfate limitation (−28 to −33 kJ mol−1 sulfate), suggesting that the observed metabolic switch is under thermodynamic control. Furthermore, we detected the upregulation of putative sulfate transporters involved in either high or low affinity uptake in response to low or high sulfate concentration. Show more
Journal / seriesThe ISME Journal
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Organisational unit09496 - Lever, Mark A. / Lever, Mark A.
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