SUMMARY: Five strains of Gram-negative denitrifying bacteria that used various ketones as sole carbon and energy sources were isolated from activated sludge from a municipal sewage plant. Three strains are related to the genus two non-motile species have not yet been affiliated. All strains grew well with ketones and fatty acids (C to C), but sugars were seldom utilized. The physiology of anaerobic acetone degradation was studied with strain BunN, which was originally enriched with butanone. Bicarbonate was essential for growth with acetone under anaerobic and aerobic conditions, but not if acetate or 3-hydroxybutyrate were used as substrates. An apparent value of 5.6 mM-bicarbonate was determined for growth with acetone in batch culture. The molar growth yield was 24.8-29.8 g dry cell matter (mol acetone consumed), with nitrate as the electron acceptor in batch culture; it varied slightly with the extent of poly-β-hydroxybutyric acid (PHB) formation. During growth with acetone, CO was incorporated mainly into the C-1 atom of the monomers of the storage polymer PHB. With 3-hydroxybutyrate as substrate, CO incorporation into PHB was negligible. The results provide evidence that acetone is channelled into the intermediary metabolism of this strain via carboxylation to acetoacetate.


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