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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Jul;70(7):4053-63.

Mineralization of individual congeners of linear alkylbenzenesulfonate by defined pairs of heterotrophic bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Biology, The University of Konstanz, Universitätsstr. 10, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany.


Parvibaculum lavamentivorans DS-1(T) utilized the commercial surfactant linear alkylbenzenesulfonate (LAS) (20 congeners with C(10) to C(13) side chains) as a carbon and energy source by shortening the side chain, and sulfophenylcarboxylates (SPCs) and similar compounds (e.g., alpha,beta-unsaturated SPCs [SPC-2Hs]) were excreted with quantitative recovery of the sulfophenyl moiety. 2-(4-Sulfophenyl)decane (2-C10-LAS) was converted largely to 3-(4-sulfophenyl)butyrate (3-C4-SPC), as were 2-C12-LAS and 2-C14-LAS; the other products were 5-C6-SPC (SPC+2C) and 3-C4-SPC-2H. 2-C11-LAS was converted largely to 4-C5-SPC with the corresponding SPC+2C and SPC-2H; similarly, 3-C12-LAS yielded 4-C6-SPC with the corresponding SPC+2C and SPC-2H. This pattern of products confirmed that LAS is degraded by omega-oxygenation and chain shortening through beta-oxidation. At least nine major SPCs were formed from commercial LAS. The novel isolates Comamonas testosteroni SPB-2 and KF-1 utilized 3-C4-SPC; Delftia acidovorans SPH-1 utilized 4-C6-SPC enantioselectively. The substrate-dependent oxygen uptake of whole cells of strain SPB-2 indicated that there was inducible oxygenation of 3-C4-SPC and of 4-sulfophenol in whole cells of the strains of C. testosteroni during growth with 3-C4-SPC or 4-sulfophenol. The degradative pathways apparently involved 4-sulfocatechol and 4-sulfocatechol 1,2-dioxygenase. Strain SPB-2 and strain DS-1(T) grew together in LAS-salts medium, and only seven of the nine major SPCs were recovered. Strain SPB-2 utilized 3-C4-SPC, 3-C5-SPC, and 3-C4-SPC-2H. Strain SPH-1 grew together with strain DS-1(T) in LAS-salts medium, and a different set of seven major SPCs was recovered. Strain SPH-1 utilized 4-C6-SPC, 4-C5-SPC, 4-C6-SPC-2H, and 4-C5-SPC-2H. A three-member community consisting of strains DS-1(T), SPB-2, and SPH-1 utilized four major SPCs. We inferred that this community mineralized the major SPCs derived from 8 of the 20 LAS congeners.

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