FEMS microbiology letters

Fatty acids synthesized by oral treponemes in chemically defined media.

PMID 17229060


OMIZ-W68, a chemically defined medium that contains no long-chain fatty acids and yet supports in vitro proliferation of a wide range of fastidious oral anaerobes, is described. The type strains of Treponema denticola, Treponema lecithinolyticum, Treponema maltophilum, Treponema pectinovorum, Treponema socranskii, and an as yet unpublished canine Treponema species could be propagated indefinitely in this medium with sugar supplements for the saccharolytic species. Analysis of the cellular fatty acids (CFA) of these treponemes by gas chromatography demonstrated the synthesis of C14, C15, C16, and C17 fatty acids (linear-, iso-, and anteiso-forms) in various proportions, but neither hydroxy- nor unsaturated fatty acids. However, between 0% and 40% of the eluted material could not be identified. The proportions of CFAs differed not only between species but also between the eight strains of Treponema denticola investigated. Replacing OMIZ-W68 by a derivative minimal essential medium (OMIZ-M/TDCDK) developed for Treponema denticola had little effect on the CFA profiles. In contrast, the CFA profiles of treponemes grown in OMIZ-W68 showed at best minor similarity to the strains from the Moore library of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, which had been grown in media containing serum, peptones, and yeast extract.