Ammonia toxicity in pure cultures of methanogenic bacteria

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Journal titleSystematic and Applied Microbiology
Pages358363; # of pages: 6
AbstractThe toxicity of ammonia to the growth of several methanogenic bacteria was evaluated in terms of an ammonia/potassium exchange reaction and in terms of inhibition of methanogenesis. Growth of Methanobrevibacter smithii, Methanobrevibacter arboriphilus and Methanobacterium strain G2R was normal in media containing up to 400 mM NH4Cl, and neither the exchange reaction nor inhibition of methane synthesis occurred. Exchange and inhibition of CH4 synthesis by ammonia was found in shortterm studies with cell suspensions of Methanospirillum hungatei, Methanosarcina barkeri and Methanothrix concilii. Certain cations countered the toxic effects which ammonia had on methane synthesis, notably Ca2+ in M. concilii and Na+ in M. barkeri. During growth in media containing increasing amounts of NH4Cl, the cytoplasmic K+ concentration declined dramatically only in M. hungatei, but this was not the mechanism of toxicity. Evidently the presence of counterions in the growth medium caused an enhanced tolerance of certain strains to ammonia. Methanobacterium bryantii displayed an appreciable decline in cytoplasmic K+ content and grew slowly in media containing 300 mM NH4Cl. Ammoniatoxicity to the growth of all methanogenic bacteria tested can be correlated to alterations in their K+/NH3 content and/or to inhibitions of CH4 synthesis.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberSPROTT1986
NPARC number9369043
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Record identifier30a2b2cf-af46-4bb1-87bc-f3995a498991
Record created2009-07-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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