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Environmental Pollution
Vol. xx, No: xx, 2007, Pages: 1–9

Benzo[a]pyrene degradation by Sphingomonas yanoikuyae JAR02

Jeremy A. Rentza,*, Pedro J.J. Alvarezb, Jerald L. Schnoora

Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163, USA.


Batch experiments were conducted to characterize the degradation of benzo[a]pyrene, a representative high molecular weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), by Sphingomonas yanoikuyae JAR02. Concentrations up to the solubility limit (1.2 mg l-1) of benzo[a]pyrene were completely removed from solution within 20 h when the bacterium was grown on salicylate. Additional experiments with [14C]7-benzo[a]- pyrene demonstrated 3.8% mineralization over 7 days when salicylate was present is solution, and one major radio-labeled metabolite was observed that accounted for ~10% of the initial radio-label. Further characterization of the radio-labeled metabolite using HPLC/MS and HPLC/MS/MS identified radio-labeled pyrene-8-hydroxy-7-carboxylic acid and unlabeled pyrene-7-hydroxy-8-carboxylic acid as novel ring-cleavage metabolites, and a benzo[a]pyrene degradation pathway was proposed. Results indicate that biostimulation of HMW PAH degradation by salicylate, a water-soluble, non-toxic substrate, has significant potential for in situ bioremediation.


Corresponding author: Tel +1 509 335 6411; fax +1 509 335 7632

E-mail: rentz@wsu.edu


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