1887

Abstract

Using a continuous culture of MGA3 limited by 100 mM methanol in the feed and growing at a dilution rate =025 h, transients in dissolved methanol were studied to determine the effects of methanol toxicity and the pathway of methanol dissimilation to CO. Steady-state cultures were disturbed by pulses of methanol resulting in a rapid change in concentration of 64–128 mM. MGA3 responded to a sudden increase in available methanol by a transient decline in the biomass concentration in the reactor. In most cases the culture returned to steady state between 4 and 12 h after pulse addition. However, at a methanol pulse of 128 mM, complete biomass washout occurred and the culture did not return to steady state. Integrating the response curves of the dry biomass concentration over a 12 h time period showed that a methanol pulse can cause an average transient decline in the biomass yield of up to 22%. C NMR experiments using labelled methanol indicated that the transient partial or complete biomass washout was probably caused by toxic accumulation of formaldehyde in the culture. These experiments also showed accumulation of formate, indicating that possesses formaldehyde dehydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase activity resulting in a methanol dissimilation pathway via formate to CO. Studies using isotope-ratio mass spectrometry provided further evidence of a methanol dissimilation pathway via formate. MGA3, growing continuously under methanol limitation, consumed added formate at a rate of approximately 085 mmol l h. Furthermore, significant accumulation of CO in the reactor exhaust gas was measured in response to a pulse addition of [C]formic acid to the bioreactor. This indicates that dissimilates methanol carbon to CO in order to detoxify formaldehyde by both a linear pathway to formate and a cyclic mechanism as part of the RuMP pathway.

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2002-10-01
2019-11-16
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