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Acetate and CO2 assimilation by Methanothrix concilii.

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Abstract

Biosynthetic pathways in Methanothrix concilii, a recently isolated aceticlastic methanogen, were studied by 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Labeling patterns of amino acids, lipids, and carbohydrates were determined. Similar to other methanogens, acetate was carboxylated to pyruvate, which was further converted to amino acids by various biosynthetic pathways. The origin of carbon atoms in glutamate, proline, and arginine clearly showed that an incomplete tricarboxylic acid cycle operating in the oxidative direction was used for their biosynthesis. Isoleucine was synthesized via citramalate, which is a typical route for methanogens. As with Methanosarcina barkeri, an extensive exchange of the label between the carboxyl group of acetate and CO2 was observed. Lipids predominantly contained diphytanyl chains, the labeling of which indicated that biosynthesis proceeded through mevalonic acid. Labeling of the C-1,6 of glucose from [2-13C]acetate is consistent with a glucogenic route for carbohydrate biosynthesis. Except for the different origins of the methyl group of methionine, the metabolic properties of Methanothrix concilii are closely related to those of Methanosarcina barkeri.

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