Four species of indole-degrading Clostridium and 3 species of skatole-degrading Clostridium were isolated from piggery or chicken manure composting processes. Since type strains of respective isolates did not degrade these compounds, the degradability of the compounds was a novel characteristic. All isolates were mesophilic. The maximum growth allowance concentrations of these isolates were 300 to 800 mg/l in indole and 100 to 300 mg/l in skatole. All isolates showed better growth and utilization of indolic compounds in nutrient-rich medium than in minimal medium. Skatole-degrading isolates degraded some substituted indoles tested, 3-indoleacetic acid, indole and oxindole, but did not degrade 1-methylindole, 2-methylindole, isatin or anthranilic acid. On the other hand, indole-degrading isolates degraded only oxindole. The growth of Clostridium malenominatum A-3 was inhibited by a low concentration (0.005%) of indole or skatole, even when 200-fold excess glucose was present in the medium. When 0.03% indole or skatole was added to the medium, C. malenominatum A-3 showed a lag phase for about 10 and 70 h, respectively. When 0.01% of these compounds was added to the medium, the uptake of glucose was inhibited. C. malenominatum A-3 degraded these compounds under nutrient-rich and minimal conditions.
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