Growth of nitrobacter in the presence of organic matter. II. Chemoorganotrophic growth of Nitrobacter agilis

Arch Microbiol. 1976 Jul;108(3):305-12. doi: 10.1007/BF00454857.


1. After a resting period of up to 6 months cells of Nitrobacter agilis grow with acetate, formate, and pyruvate as carbon and energy source. Yeast extract and peptone were added to supply the organism with nitrogen and to meet possible vitamin requirements. 2. The length of the growth period depends on the substrate; it increases according to the following sequence: pyruvate, formate, acetate. The highest growth yield is observed with pyruvate, the lowest with formate. 3. O2 consumption is increased in the presence of substrates as compared to endogenous respiration. With pyruvate and acetate twice as much O2 is consumed, with formate 7 times, with yeast extractpeptone 10 times as much. 4. The ability of nitrite oxidation is largely preserved, except in cells grown with acetate or pyruvate in the presence of 0.015% yeast extract and peptone. Such cells have nearly no cytochrome a1. Accordingly. the cytochrome spectra of nitrite oxidizers grown under chemoorganotrophic and lithoautotrophic conditions coincide qualitatively. 5. The nitrite oxidizing system is inducible. It is induced by nitrite but also by substances present in yeast extract and peptone. Cells grown on acetate and yeast extract and peptone (0.015%) require 3--4 weeks before they regain the ability to grow with nitrite. Cells grown chemoorganotrophically with the same substrates and yeast extract and peptone (0.15%) start growing and nitrite as energy source without a lag. 6. Cell size and form, distribution of storage materials, order and fine structure of double membranes are correlated with growth conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Culture Media
  • Cytochromes / metabolism
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Formates / metabolism
  • Nitrite Reductases / biosynthesis
  • Nitrobacter / growth & development*
  • Nitrobacter / metabolism
  • Nitrobacter / ultrastructure
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Peptones / metabolism
  • Pyruvates / metabolism


  • Acetates
  • Culture Media
  • Cytochromes
  • Formates
  • Peptones
  • Pyruvates
  • Nitrite Reductases