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Factors affecting the production of pyrroloquinoline quinone by the methylotrophic bacterium W3A1.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Design


Two variants of the methylotrophic bacterium W3A1, designated W3A1-S (slimy) and W3A1-NS (nonslimy), were compared with respect to their ability to grow in batch culture on the C1 substrates methylamine, methanol, and trimethylamine. Substrate utilization, cell density, pH, cellular and soluble polysaccharide production, and concentrations of the enzymes methylamine dehydrogenase, trimethylamine dehydrogenase, and methanol dehydrogenase produced were measured as a function of growth. The ability of the two bacterial variants to excrete the redox cofactor pyrroloquinoline quinone into the growth medium was also investigated. The two variants were similar with respect to all properties measured, except that W3A1-S produced significantly more capsular polysaccharides than variant W3A1-NS. Pyrroloquinoline quinone was excreted when either variant was grown on any of the C1 substrates investigated but was maximally produced when the methylamine concentration was 0.45% (wt/vol). This cofactor is excreted only as bacterial growth enters the stationary phase, a time when the levels of trimethylamine dehydrogenase and the quinoproteins methanol dehydrogenase and methylamine dehydrogenase begin to decline. It is not known whether the pyrroloquinoline quinone found in the medium is made de novo for excretion, derived from the quinoprotein pool, or both. Pyrroloquinoline quinone excretion has been observed with other methylotrophs, but this is the first instance where the excretion was observed with substrates other than methanol.

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