This paper reports for the first time the presence in the anaerobic rumen ciliate Dasytricha ruminantium (Schuberg) of microbody-like organelles, about 0.5 micrometer diameter, with a granular matrix and an equilibrium density of approx. 1.18 g/ml. These organelles can be isolated in a fraction sedimented at 10(5) g-min that contains 67% of the total pyruvate synthase (EC 1.2.7.1), 66% of the hydrogenase (EC 1.18.3.1) and 20% of the lactate dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.27). Thus in several respects this fraction is enzymically similar to those containing hydrogenosomes in some other parasitic anaerobic protozoa (the trichomonads). However, in contrast with the hydrogenosomes of trichomonads, the oxygen-tolerant enzyme malate dehydrogenase (decarboxylating) (EC 1.1.1.40) is not particulate, but occurs only in the cytosol. These results enable the proposal of a scheme for the pathway of product formation (acetate, lactate, CO2 and H2) from carbohydrates.

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