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Specificity of the Westerfeld adaptation of the Voges-Proskauer test

, : Specificity of the Westerfeld adaptation of the Voges-Proskauer test. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 44(1): 40-43

Aliphatic chain compounds at least four carbons long with vicinal carbonyl groups in the 2,3 positions were detected by the Westerfeld test. Acetoin, which has one carbonyl group and an adjacent hydroxyl group, gave positive results, but methyl action (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-2-butanone) was negative, and subsequent tests supported the conclusion that acetoin is oxidized to diacetyl by alpha-naphthol during the Westerfeld test in the absence or presence of air. 2,3-Pentanedione and 2,3-heptanedione gave positive results, but equimolar concentrations of these compounds gave maximal absorbancy readings that were only 35% (2,3-pentanedione) and 31% (2,3-heptanedione) of those obtained with diacetyl or acetoin. Negative results were obtained with pyruvic acid, 2,3-butylene glycol, and carbon ring compounds (1,2-cyclohexanedione, alloxan, and 3,4-dihydroxy-3-cyclobutene-1,2-dione). alpha-Naphtho could not be replaced in the test by beta-naphthol, 1,2,3,4,-tetrahydroxy-1-naphthol, or 5,6,7,8-tetrahydroxy-1-naphthol. Creatine could not be replaced by arginine, guanidine . HCl, or guanidinoacetic acid.

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