Acetobacter are most commonly known as the bacteria responsible for the production of vinegar. They are frequently found in grain-based fermentations such as wine and beer production, and can reduce product yields by increasing the acidity of the batch. Because these Gram-negative bacteria are strictly aerobic, they are often limited in ethanol plants to areas like the propagation tank where they have access to oxygen.
Bacteria such as these are a serious concern to bioenergy researchers working on scaling up production of cellulosic ethanol. The genome sequence of A. aceti, a key member of the Acetobacteraceae family, could help control contamination as well as provide a more comprehensive understanding of ethanol and acid tolerance in this bacterium, leading to a better understanding of its metabolic potential and microbial diversity. For example, these bacteria are resistant to several commonly used antibacterials, but there are other options available to ethanol plants for controlling these microbes. Having the genome sequence of these bacteria could greatly help the possibility of controlling these antibacterial resistant microbes, making ethanol cleaner and more efficient for commercial use.
Principal Investigators: David Mills, University of California, Davis
Program: CSP 2010