Résumé : [en] Background: Molecular hydrogen, given its pollution-free combustion, has great potential to replace fossil fuels infuture transportation and energy production. However, current industrial hydrogen production processes, such assteam reforming of methane, contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect. Therefore alternative methods, inparticular the use of fermentative microorganisms, have attracted scientific interest in recent years. However thelow overall yield obtained is a major challenge in biological H2 production. Thus, a thorough and detailedunderstanding of the relationships between genome content, gene expression patterns, pathway utilisation andmetabolite synthesis is required to optimise the yield of biohydrogen production pathways.Results: In this study transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of the hydrogen-producing bacterium Clostridiumbutyricum CWBI 1009 were carried out to provide a biomolecular overview of the changes that occur when themetabolism shifts to H2 production. The growth, H2-production, and glucose-fermentation profiles were monitoredin 20 L batch bioreactors under unregulated-pH and fixed-pH conditions (pH 7.3 and 5.2). Conspicuous differenceswere observed in the bioreactor performances and cellular metabolisms for all the tested metabolites, and theywere pH dependent. During unregulated-pH glucose fermentation increased H2 production was associated withconcurrent strong up-regulation of the nitrogenase coding genes. However, no such concurrent up-regulation ofthe [FeFe] hydrogenase genes was observed. During the fixed pH 5.2 fermentation, by contrast, the expressionlevels for the [FeFe] hydrogenase coding genes were higher than during the unregulated-pH fermentation, whilethe nitrogenase transcripts were less abundant. The overall results suggest, for the first time, that environmentalfactors may determine whether H2 production in C. butyricum CWBI 1009 is mediated by the hydrogenases and/orthe nitrogenase.Conclusions: This work, contributing to the field of dark fermentative hydrogen production, provides amultidisciplinary approach for the investigation of the processes involved in the molecular H2 metabolism ofclostridia. In addition, it lays the groundwork for further optimisation of biohydrogen production pathways basedon genetic engineering techniques.