[Digestion] Attachment to previous Article - More scientific based research and questions

Anand Karve adkarve at gmail.com
Sun Oct 17 08:39:20 PDT 2010

Dear Duncan,
I dont believe in the theory of a chain of micro-organisms, with one species
converting the cellulose into glucose, another converting the glucose into
an organic acid (e.g. citric acid), still another converting the organic
acid into acetic acid and ultimately the acetic acid being converted by the
methanogenic organisms into carbon dioxide and methane. If this were true,
one would have by now isolated the organism that converted cellulose into
glucose and used the glucose to produce alcohol. Cellulose is the most
ubiquitously found organic compount in the world and with this simple
process, one would have produced unlimited quantity of liquid fuel. But even
today, the conversion of cellulose into glucose is achieved in any
industrial process by using a cellulolytic enzyme extracted from a
cellulolytic organism. The reason for this is, that the glucose converted by
the organism from cellulose is consumed by the same organism. And once it is
consumed by an organism, it is converted into its cell all the way down to
carbon dioxide. The micro-organisms in the gut of an animal cannot be
expected to be so altruistic as to predigest the food and suply it to the
methanogens. I feel that the methanogenic organisms consume the fellow
micro-organisms in the gut of animals and digest them to produce methane and
carbon dioxide. Such dog-eat-dog reactions occur also in the soil supplied
with organic matter.
        In any case, once it is accepted that the methanogenic organisms do
not digest the dung directly and that they need the help of other organisms
to digest it, one cannot accept that dung is the food of the methanogens. It
is like saying that manure applied to a field is human food, because through
a number of biological processes it ultimately ends up into products, which
the humans eat.
On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 4:27 PM, Duncan Martin <duncanjmartin at gmail.com>wrote:

> Yes, the gut methanogens do, in a sense, eat what the animal eats. However,
> it would be more accurate to say that their diet is derived from what the
> animal eats. The methanogens in the gut of a cow are surrounded by celluose
> and other biopolymers but they cannot digest them. They live on the waste
> products of other microbial processes. The web of metabolic interactions is
> well known.
> Where I would "hoot out" Dr Karve is his belief that dung cannot serve as
> food for the methanogens because they are "thrown out" of the body along
> with the dung. I don't understand the logic here.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.bioenergylists.org/pipermail/digestion_lists.bioenergylists.org/attachments/20101017/3b6c3145/attachment.html>

More information about the Digestion mailing list