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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1991 Jul;57(7):1935-41.

Mutants of Pseudomonas cepacia G4 defective in catabolism of aromatic compounds and trichloroethylene.

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  • 1Technical Resources Inc., Gulf Breeze, Florida.


Pseudomonas cepacia G4 possesses a novel pathway of toluene catabolism that is shown to be responsible for the degradation of trichloroethylene (TCE). This pathway involves conversion of toluene via o-cresol to 3-methylcatechol. In order to determine the enzyme of toluene degradation that is responsible for TCE degradation, chemically induced mutants, blocked in the toluene ortho-monooxygenase (TOM) pathway of G4, were examined. Mutants of the phenotypic class designated TOM A- were all defective in their ability to oxidize toluene, o-cresol, m-cresol, and phenol, suggesting that a single enzyme is responsible for conversion of these compounds to their hydroxylated products (3-methylcatechol from toluene, o-cresol, and m-cresol and catechol from phenol) in the wild type. Mutants of this class did not degrade TCE. Two other mutant classes which were blocked in toluene catabolism, TOM B-, which lacked catechol-2,3-dioxygenase, and TOM C-, which lacked 2-hydroxy-6-oxoheptadienoic acid hydrolase activity, were fully capable of TCE degradation. Therefore, TCE degradation is directly associated with the monooxygenation capability responsible for toluene, cresol, and phenol hydroxylation.

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