Summary: The ability of micro-organisms to grow on carbon disulphide (CS) as a sole source of carbon and energy appears to be very limited: none was obtained from enrichment culture and eight species could not use it. strain TK-m could grow autotrophically on either CS or carbonyl sulphide (COS) as sole substrates. Growth yield on CS was 7.9 ± 0.9 g cell-carbon (mol CS), and yields on COS, thiosulphate or thiocyanate were in the range 5.6—6.1. COS was detected as an intermediate during growth on CS, and there was quantitative conversion of the sulphur of CS to sulphate during growth. Aerobic oxidation of CS by suspensions of strain TK-m exhibited a of 16.5 μM and a of 524 nmol O consumed min (mg organism-protein). When incubated anaerobically with CS, strain TK-m sequentially produced COS and HS. CS oxidation is proposed to proceed by its sequential hydrolytic cleavage to COS then HS, with release of all the carbon as CO, followed by oxidation of the sulphide to sulphate. This oxidation provides all the energy for growth, which is dependent on the autotrophic fixation of CO, apparently by means of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase.


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