Deciphering Clostridium metabolism and its responses to bioreactor mass transfer during syngas fermentation

Ni Wan, Ashik Sathish, Le You, Yinjie J. Tang, Zhiyou Wen

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28 Scopus citations


This study used 13C tracers and dynamic labeling to reveal metabolic features (nutrients requirements, pathway delineation and metabolite turnover rates) of Clostridium carboxidivorans P7, a model strain for industrial syngas fermentation, and its implication with bioreactor mass transfer. P7 shows poor activity for synthesizing amino acids (e.g., phenylalanine) and thus, needs rich medium for cell growth. The strain has multiple carbon fixation routes (Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase reaction and anaplerotic pathways) and Re-citrate synthase (Ccar-06155) was a key enzyme in its tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) pathway. High fluxes were observed in P7's Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, right branch of TCA cycle, pyruvate synthesis, and sugar phosphate pathways, but the cells anabolic pathways were strikingly slow. In bioreactor culture, when syngas flowrate increased from 1 to 10 mL/min, P7 strain produced same amount of total extracellular products (acids and alcohols) but high flowrate favored alcohol accumulation. This observation was due to the mass transfer limitation influencing energy metabolism (CO/H2 oxidation for cofactor generations) more prominently than carbon fixation. When syngas flowrate increased from 10 of 20 mL/min, the alcohol productivity was not improved and the labeling rate (~0.03 h-1) of key metabolite acetyl-CoA reached to P7 strain's metabolism limitation regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10090
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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