Bacteria Like Caffeine

Ryan Summers, a Ph.D. student at the University of Iowa found bacteria degrade caffeine. Last week, he presented his findings at the event of 111th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology at New Orleans, USA.

Summers said, "We have isolated caffeine degrading bacteria, Pseudomonas putida CBB5, which can convert caffeine into CO2 and ammonia." Bacteria that can live in environments with high levels of caffeine 2.5 g/liter, which for many bacteria have been classified as toxic.

By degrading caffeine which consists of elements carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen, Pseudomonas putida CBB5 get essential nutrients needed for life. According to Summers, the degradation process itself is assisted by 3 kinds of enzymes that own by the bacteria.

With the ability to degrade caffeine, it is quite possible this bacterium is also like to drink coffee. A cup of coffee known to contain average of 0.8 grams/liter of caffeine. Certainly, the bacteria would not drink coffee to accompany stay up to watch the ball.

The finding of Pseudomonas putida CBB5, Summers admitted not surprised. The reason, caffeine was also associated with domestic wastewater and industrial waste. However, Summers did not know about the reasons why there are bacteria that have evolved to grow in an environment with caffeine.


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