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A pH Control System Based on Malate Decarboxylation for the Cultivation of Lactic Acid Bacteria



A pH Control System Based on Malate Decarboxylation for the Cultivation of Lactic Acid Bacteria



Applied and Environmental Microbiology 54(6): 1627-1629



Most species of lactic acid bacteria decarboxylate l-malate to lactate and CO(2) if an energy source such as glucose is present. A proton is taken up in the reaction, which prevents pH decreases in the growth medium caused by lactic acid production from glucose fermentation. MRS broth (pH 7.0) (Difco Laboratories) containing 10 mM glucose and various concentrations of l-malate (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100 mM) was used to cultivate Lactobacillus plantarum. After 72 h at 37 degrees C, all malate was decarboxylated and all glucose was fermented, with resultant final pH values of 4.5, 6.3, 6.9, 7.3, and 7.5, respectively. When d-malate (which cannot be decarboxylated) was substituted for l-malate, the final pH values were 4.5, 5.2, 5.6, 5.8, and 5.9. By varying the ratios of glucose to l-malate in the growth medium, it was possible to obtain pH values which were lower, the same, or higher than the initial pH values. In contrast, buffers such as phosphate only retard decreases in pH. l-Malate, when compared with K(2)PO(4) on an equal molar basis, provided greater resistance to decreases in pH. Higher specific growth rates were observed for L. plantarum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides when l-malate rather than K(2)PO(4) was incorporated into the growth medium.

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Accession: 001740490

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PMID: 16347671


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