Hydrogen Bacteria

hydrogen bacteria

[′hī·drə·jən bak′tir·ē·ə]
Bacteria capable of obtaining energy from the oxidation of molecular hydrogen.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hydrogen Bacteria


bacteria that oxidize hydrogen and use the resulting energy to assimilate carbon. Oxidation proceeds in accordance with the formula: 2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + 138 calories. All the hydrogen bacteria are aerobes—that is, they develop only in the presence of oxygen. Because of the ability of hydrogen bacteria to synthesize organic matter from carbon dioxide, they grow well on mineral media but can also grow on meat-peptone agar and other nutrient media. Hence they are mixotrophic organisms. The ability to oxidize hydrogen is found in various taxonomic groups of bacteria. Hydrogenomonas eutropha, the most studied hydrogen bacteria, is widespread in soil; it is a small, nonsporulating, motile, flagellate rod that forms smooth, yellow, shiny colonies. In oxidizing hydrogen, hydrogen bacteria consume less oxygen than is released during the electrolysis of water. Therefore, the apparatus in which hydrogen bacteria are grown have been suggested for the regeneration of air in spacecraft. At the same time, the bacteria can be used as a source of protein.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For microbiologists, biotechnologists, teachers, and students in medicine and biological and chemical sciences, Volova (Institute of Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Siberian Federal U., Russia) reviews studies and presents her research on the physiology and biotechnology of chemolithoautotrophic hydrogen-oxidizing microorganisms, and the general distribution, taxonomy, and metabolism of these microorganisms (hydrogen bacteria and carboxybacteria), as well as methods and devices for growing them on gaseous substrate.