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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Aug 10;53(16):6426-31.

Biotransformation of 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol, a main product of the insecticide fenitrothion, by Aspergillus niger.

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  • 1International Environmental Research Center, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju 500-712, Republic of Korea.


Biotransformation of the environmental pollutant 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol (MNP), a newly characterized estrogenic chemical, and the primary breakdown product of the heavily used insecticide fenitrothion was investigated using a common soil fungus. In 96 h, daily culture sacrifice, extraction, and analysis showed that the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus niger VKM F-1119, removed more than 85% of the MNP present in solution (original concentration = 25 mg/L), mostly through biodegradation. Additionally, in 16-day time-course studies, A. niger was capable of biotransformation of MNP at concentrations as high as 70 mg/L. Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (MS) analyses of culture fluid extracts indicated the formation of four metabolites: 2-methyl-1,4-benzenediol, 4-amino-3-methylphenol, and two singly hydroxylated derivatives of MNP. Culture scale up and metabolite analysis by liquid chromatography MS resulted in the confirmation of the original metabolites plus the detection of an azo derivative metabolite that has not been previously reported before during MNP biodegradation by any micro-organisms.

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