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Control of Oxidative Sulfur Metabolism of Chlorobium limicola forma thiosulfatophilum

  • Douglas Cork
  • Jeremy Mathers
  • Andrea Maka
  • Anna Srnak
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1985
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology


A metered blend of anaerobic-grade N2, CO2, and H2S gases was introduced into an illuminated, 800-ml liquid volume, continuously stirred tank reactor. The system, described as an anaerobic gas-to-liquid phase fed-batch reactor, was used to investigate the effects of H2S flow rate and light energy on the accumulation of oxidized sulfur compounds formed by the photoautotroph Chlorobium limicola forma thiosulfatophilum during growth. Elemental sulfur was formed and accumulated in stoichiometric quantities when light energy and H2S molar flow rate levels were optimally adjusted in the presence of nonlimiting CO2. Deviation from the optimal H2S and light energy levels resulted in either oxidation of sulfur or complete inhibition of sulfide oxidation. Based on these observations, a model of sulfide and sulfur oxidases electrochemically coupled to the photosynthetic reaction center of Chlorobium spp. is presented. The dynamic deregulation of oxidative pathways may be a mechanism for supplying the photosynthetic reaction center with a continuous source of electrons during periods of varying light and substrate availability, as in pond ecosystems where Chlorobium spp. are found. Possible applications for a sulfide gas removal process are discussed.

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