ace·​to·​gen ə-ˈsē-tə-jən How to pronounce acetogen (audio)
plural acetogens
: any of various anaerobic bacteria that produce acetic acid in the form of acetate from the metabolism of certain sugars (such as xylose or glucose) or from carbon dioxide and hydrogen
Kangaroos produce barely any methane as their dominant gut flora are acetogens, not methanogens.Bijal Trivedi, New Scientist, 20 Dec. 2008
Interest in acetic acid synthesis by acetogens has focused on synthesis from biomass-derived sugars …J. G. Zeikus et al., Science, 8 Mar. 1985

Word History


aceto- + -gen (probably after the earlier adjective acetogenic or the specific epithet of Bacillus acetogenes)

First Known Use

circa 1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acetogen was circa 1895

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Dictionary Entries Near acetogen

Cite this Entry

“Acetogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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