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Vol. 66,No: xx, 2007, Pages: 1939–1946

Aerobic degradation of di- and trichlorobenzenes by two bacteria isolated from polluted tropical soils

Sunday A. Adebusoyea, Flynn W. Picardalb,*, Matthew O. Iloria, Olukayode O. Amunda , Clay Fuquac, Nathan Grindlec

Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0919, USA.


Two polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs)-degrading bacteria were isolated by traditional enrichment technique from electrical transformer fluid (Askarel)-contaminated soils in Lagos, Nigeria. They were classified and identified as Enterobacter sp. SA-2 and Pseudomonas sp. SA-6 on the basis of 16S rRNA gene analysis, in addition to standard cultural and biochemical techniques. The strains were able to grow extensively on dichloro- and trichlorobenzenes. Although they failed to grow on tetrachlorobenzenes, monochloro- and dichlorobenzoic acids, they were able to utilize all monochlorobiphenyls, and some dichlorobiphenyls as sole sources of carbon and energy. The effect of incubation with axenic cultures on the degradation of 0.9 mM 1,4-dichlorobenzene, 0.44 mM 1,2,3- and 0.43 mM 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene in mineral salts medium was studied. Approximately, 80–90% of these xenobiotics were degraded in 200 h, concomitant with cell increase of up to three orders of magnitude, while generation times ranged significantly (P < 0.05) from 17–32 h. Catechol 1,2-dioxygenase and catechol 2,3-dioxygenase activities were detected in crude cell-free extracts of cultures pre-grown with benzoate, with the latter enzyme exhibiting a slightly higher activity (0.15–0.17 mol min-1 mg of protein-1) with catechol, suggesting that the meta-cleavage pathway is the most readily available catabolic route in the SA strains. The wider substrate specificity of these tropical isolates may help in assessing natural detoxification processes and in designing bioremediation and bioaugmentation methods.

Keywords: Aerobic biodegradation, Soil pollutants, Chlorobenzene, Enterobacter sp,Bioremediation,polychlorinated biphenyl,Pseudomonas sp,bioremediation.

Corresponding author: Tel +1 812 855 0733; fax: +1 812 855 7802

E-mail: picardal@indiana.edu


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