Summary: A variety of sulphonates were tested for their ability to serve as nutrients for and . Cysteate, taurine and isethionate could not serve as sole sources of carbon and energy but, under aerobic conditions, could be utilized as sources of sulphur. Both sulphate and sulphonate supported equivalent cell yields, but the generation times varied with the sulphonate being metabolized. The sulphonate-S of HEPES buffer, dodecane sulphonate and methane sulphonate was also utilized by some strains, whereas the sulphonate-S of taurocholate was not. None of the sulphonates tested served as a sulphur source for growth under anaerobic conditions. Sulphonate utilization appears to be a constitutive trait; surprisingly, however, cells of and utilized sulphate-S in preference to that of sulphonate, when both were present. mutants unable to use sulphate as a source of sulphur because of deficiencies in sulphate permease, ATP sulphurylase, adenylylsulphate kinase (APS kinase) or glutaredoxin and thioredoxin were able to utilize sulphonates; hence sulphate is not an obligatory intermediate in sulphonate utilization. However, mutants deficient in sulphite reductase were unable to utilize sulphonates; therefore, this enzyme must be involved in sulphonate utilization, though it is not yet known whether it acts upon the sulphonates themselves or upon the inorganic sulphite derived from them.


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