Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 156, Issue 6, pp 497–500 | Cite as

Cytochromes and hydrogen-oxidizing activity in the thermophilic hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria related to the genus Hydrogenobacter

  • Trello Beffa
  • Margaret Berczy
  • Michel Aragno
Original Papers


The highly thermophilic, hydrogen-oxidizing aerobic bacteria related to Hydrogenobacter possess a respiratory chain comprising a quinone and b-type (alpha band at 556 nm and 562 nm) and c-type (alpha band at 552 nm) cytochromes. They have no aa3-type cytochromes and their terminal oxidase is an o-type cytochrome. A polarographic method with an oxygen electrode was used for the measurement of the hydrogen-oxidizing activity. This activity was strongly inhibited by HQNO (2-N-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide), an inhibitor of the respiratory chain in the quinone-cytochrome b region, and by KCN, an inhibitor of the terminal cytochrome oxidase. This study shows that the electrons released from hydrogen oxidation by the membrane-bound hydrogenase probably enter the respiratory chain at the level of the quinone-cytochrome b region.

Key words

Cytochromes b-c-o-types Hydrogen oxidation Hydrogenase Respiratory chain inhibitors Hydrogenobacter thermophilus Calderobacterium hydrogenophilum Hydrogenobacter sp. 



2-N-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide




dry weight


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aragno M (1991) The thermophilic hydrogen-oxidizing chemoautotrophic aerobic bacteria. In: Balows A, Trüper HG, Dworkin M, Harder W, Schleifer KH (eds) The prokaryotes, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York (in press)Google Scholar
  2. Aragno M, Schlegel HG (1991) The mesophilic hydrogen-oxidizing (knallgas) bacteria. In: Balows A, Trüper HG, Dworkin M, Harder W, Schleifer KH (eds) The prokaryotes, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York (in press)Google Scholar
  3. Beffa T, Pezet R, Turian G (1988) Endogenous elemental sulfur production from l-cysteine in dormant α-spores of Phomopsis viticola. Current Microbiol 17:259–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonjour F (1988) Hydrogénobactéries des milieux géothermiques et volcaniques: taxonomie et écologie. Ph. D. Thesis, Faculty of Sciences, University of Neuchâtel, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  5. Bonjour F, Aragno M (1984) Bacillus tusciae: a new species of thermoacidophilic, facultatively chemolithoautotrophic, hydrogen oxidizing sporeformer from a geothermal area. Arch Microbiol 139:397–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonjour F, Aragno M (1986) Growth of thermophilic, obligatorily chemolithoautotrophic hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria related to Hydrogenobacter with thiosulfate and elemental sulfur as electron and energy source. FEMS Microbiol Lett 35:11–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowien B, Schlegel HG (1981) Physiology and biochemistry of aerobic hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria. Ann Rev Microbiol 35:405–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bradford MM (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Igarashi Y, Kodama T (1990) Hydrogenobacter thermophilus: its unusual physiological properties and phylogenic position in the microbial world. FEMS Microbiol Rev 87:403–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ishii M, Kawasumi T, Igarashi Y, Kodama T, Minoda Y (1983) 2-Methylthio-1,4-naphthoquinone, a new quinone from an extremely thermophilic hydrogen bacterium. Agric Biol Chem 47:167–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ishii M, Itoh S, Kawasaki H, Igarashi Y, Kodama T (1987a) The membrane-bound hydrogenase reduces cytochrome C552 in Hydrogenobacter thermophilus strain TK-6. Agric Biol Chem 51:1825–1831Google Scholar
  12. Ishii M, Igarashi Y, Kodama T (1987b) Purification and some properties of cytochrome C552 from Hydrogenobacter thermophilus. Agric Biol Chem 51:1695–1696Google Scholar
  13. Ishii M, Kawasumi T, Igarashi Y, Kodama T, Minoda Y (1987c) 2-Methylthio-1,4-naphthoquinone, a unique sulfur-containing quinone from a thermophilic hydrogen-oxidizing bacterium, Hydrogenobacter thermophilus. J Bacteriol 169:2380–2384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Izzo G, Guerrieri F, Papa S (1978) On the mechanism of inhibition of the respiratory chain by 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline-n-oxide. FEBS Letters 93:320–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones CW, Poole PK (1985) The analysis of cytochromes. In: Gottschalk G (ed) Methods in microbiology, vol. 18. Academic Press, London, pp 285–328Google Scholar
  16. Kawasumi T, Igarashi Y, Kodama T, Minoda (1984) Hydrogenobacter thermophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., an extremely thermophilic, aerobic, hydrogen-oxidizing bacterium. Int J Syst Bacteriol 34:5–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kömen R, Zannoni D, Schmidt K (1991a) The electron transport system of Alcaligenes eutrophus H16. I. Spectroscopic and thermodynamic properties. Arch Microbiol 155:382–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kömen R, Zannoni D, Schmidt K (1991b) The electron transport system of Alcaligenes eutrophus H16. II. Respiratory activities and effect of specific inhibitors. Arch Microbiol 155:436–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kristjansson JK, Ingason A, Alfredsson GA (1985) Isolation of thermophilic obligately autotrophic hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria, similar to Hydrogenobacter thermophilus from Icelandic hot springs. Arch Microbiol 140:321–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kryukov VR, Saveleva ND, Pusheva MA (1983) Calderobacterium hydrogenophilum gen. et sp. nov., an extremely thermophilic hydrogen bacterium and its hydrogenase activity. Microbiology 52:611–618Google Scholar
  21. Porte F, Vignais PM (1980) Electron transport chain and energy transduction in Paracoccus denitrificans under autotrophic growth conditions. Arch Microbiol 127:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pusheva MA, Sukhikh AP, Borodulina NP, Svel'eva ND (1988) Characteristics of cytochromes of the extremely thermophilic obligate autotrophic hydrogen bacterium Calderobacterium hydrogenophilum. Microbiology 57:572–576Google Scholar
  23. Sanbongi Y, Igarashi Y, Kodama T (1989) Thermostability of cytochrome C552 from the thermophilic hydrogen-oxidizing bacterium Hydrogenobacter thermophilus. Biochemistry 28:9574–9578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schink B (1982) Isolation of a hydrogenase-cytochrome b complex from cytoplasmic membrances of Xanthobacter autotrophicus GZ 29. FEMS Microbiol Lett 13:289–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schlegel HG (1989) Aerobic hydrogen-oxidizing (Knallgas) bacteria. In: Schlegel HG, Bowien B (eds) Autotrophic bacteria. Science Technology Publishers, Madison, pp 305–329Google Scholar
  26. Shiba H, Kawasumi T, Igarashi Y, Kodama T, Minoda Y (1985) The CO2 assimilation via the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle in an obligately autotrophic, aerobic hydrogen-oxidizing bacterium, Hydrogenobacter thermophilus. Arch Microbiol 141: 198–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trello Beffa
    • 1
  • Margaret Berczy
    • 1
  • Michel Aragno
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Microbiologie, Institut de BotaniqueUniversité de NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations