Amino acid utilization by the ruminal bacterium Synergistes jonesii strain 78-1

Christopher S. McSweeny, Milton J. Allison, Roderick I. Mackie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ruminal bacterium Synergistes jonesii strain 78-1, which is able to degrade the pyridinediol toxin in the plant Leucaena leucephala, was studied for its ability to utilise amino acids. The organism used arginine, histidine and glycine from a complex mixture of amino acids, and both arginine and histidine supported growth in a semi-defined medium. The products of (U-14C)-arginine metabolism were CO2 acetate, butyrate, citrulline and ornithine. The labelling pattern of end products from (U-14C)-histidine metabolism differed in that carbon also flowed into formate and propionate. Arginine was catabolised by the arginine deiminase pathway which was characterised by the presence of arginine deiminase, ornithine transcarbamylase and carbamate kinase. This is the first report of a rumen bacterium that uses arginine and histidine as major energy yielding substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993


  • Arginine metabolism
  • Pyridinediol detoxification
  • Rumen bacteria
  • Synergistes jonesii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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