The addition of sodium acetate to chemically defined MP2 medium was found to increase and stabilize solvent production and also increase glucose utilization by Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052. RNA and enzyme analyses indicated that coenzyme A (CoA) transferase was highly expressed and has higher activity in C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 grown in MP2 medium containing added sodium acetate than in the microorganism grown without sodium acetate. RNA analysis suggested the existence of a sol operon and confirmed the presence of a ptb-buk operon in C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052. In addition to CoA transferase, C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 grown in MP2 medium containing added acetate demonstrated higher acetate kinase- and butyrate kinase-specific activity than when the culture was grown in MP2 medium containing no added acetate. Southern blot analysis with chromosomal DNA isolated from solventogenic and degenerated C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 indicated that C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 strain degeneration does not involve loss of the CoA transferase genes. The addition of acetate to MP2 medium may induce the expression of the sol operon, which ensures solvent production and prevents strain degeneration in C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052.
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