Table of Contents
Journal of Amino Acids
Volume 2015, Article ID 410492, 10 pages
Research Article

Amino Acid Metabolism of Thermoanaerobacter Strain AK90: The Role of Electron-Scavenging Systems in End Product Formation

Faculty of Natural Resource Sciences, University of Akureyri, Borgir, Nordurslod 2, 600 Akureyri, Iceland

Received 26 May 2015; Accepted 29 July 2015

Academic Editor: Arthur Cooper

Copyright © 2015 Sean Michael Scully and Johann Orlygsson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The catabolism of the 20 amino acids by Thermoanaerobacter strain AK90 (KR007667) was investigated under three different conditions: as single amino acids without an electron-scavenging system, in the presence of thiosulfate, and in coculture with a hydrogenotrophic methanogen. The strain degraded only serine without an alternative electron acceptor but degraded 11 amino acids (alanine, cysteine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, serine, threonine, tyrosine, and valine) under both of the electron-scavenging systems investigated. Acetate was the dominant end product from alanine, cysteine, lysine, serine, and threonine under electron-scavenging conditions. The branched-chain amino acids, isoleucine, leucine, and valine, were degraded to their corresponding fatty acids under methanogenic conditions and to a mixture of their corresponding fatty acids and alcohols in the presence of thiosulfate. The partial pressure of hydrogen seems to be of importance for the branched-chain alcohol formation. This was suggested by low but detectable hydrogen concentrations at the end of cultivation on the branched-chain amino acid in the presence of thiosulfate but not when cocultured with the methanogen. A more detailed examination of the role of thiosulfate as an electron acceptor was performed with Thermoanaerobacter ethanolicus (DSM 2246) and Thermoanaerobacter brockii (DSM 1457).