A gram-negative, anaerobic, nonmotile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium that fermented succinate quantitatively to propionate was isolated from a high dilution of rumen ingesta obtained from a dairy cow fed a production diet containing grass silage as the main roughage source. This organism did not grow on any of the following energy sources: 12 carbohydrates, pyruvate, lactate, 7 dicarboxylic acids, aspartate, citrate, and trans -aconitate. Both rumen fluid and yeast extract were necessary for good growth on succinate. The organism was negative for the following characteristics: production of propionate from threonine, protein digestion, sulfide production, nitrate reduction, catalase activity, and urease activity. There was no growth at 22°C and reduced growth at 45°C compared with growth at 39°C. The DNA base composition was 52 mol% G+C. The complete 16S rRNA sequence (EMBL accession number, X81137) was obtained, and the phylogenetic relationships of the organism were determined. The most closely related genera were the genera Acidaminococcus and Phascolarctobacterium . The name proposed for this bacterium is Succiniclasticum ruminis gen. nov., sp. nov.; the type strain is strain SE10 (= DSM 9236). Additional isolation attempts revealed that S. ruminis is a common inhabitant of the rumina of cows that are fed production diets and of cows on pasture.
The trematode, Fasciola hepatica , and the cestode, Spirometra mansonoides have been shown to be similar to the nematode Ascaris lumbricoides in that all three decarboxylate succinate to propionate plus CO 2 . Associated with this decarboxylation is an incorporation of 32 P i into organic phosphate. Both the decarboxylation and phosphorylation are markedly stimulated by the addition of propionyl-CoA, are dependent on coenzyme B 12 and are inhibited by avidin. The trematode and cestode exhibit propionyl-CoA carboxylase, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and acyl-CoA transferase activities in sonicated mitochondrial preparations. Data are consistent with the occurrence of a mitochondrial substrate level site for ATP generation which is coupled with the decarboxylation of succinate. In Fasciola preparations, acetyl-CoA stimulates the decarboxylation and phosphorylation to a considerably larger extent than propionyl-CoA, indicating the possibility that acetyl-CoA may serve physiologically in these reactions by donating the CoA moiety to succinate.