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J Hazard Mater. 2010 Nov 15;183(1-3):766-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.07.092. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Identification of wastewater bacteria involved in the degradation of triclocarban and its non-chlorinated congener.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins University, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States.


Triclocarban (TCC) is an antimicrobial additive of personal care products that is only partially degraded during wastewater treatment. Bacteria responsible for its transformation are unknown. We obtained wastewater bacteria capable of using as the sole carbon source TCC or its non-chlorinated analog, carbanilide (NCC). Enrichments established using activated sludge amended with TCC and NCC, respectively, were maintained for 1 year through successive transfers. Enrichments displayed exponential growth after 2 weeks, reaching stationary phase after 1 month. The NCC enrichment was shown to accumulate aniline. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of amplified 16S rRNA genes indicated markedly reduced community richness compared to the inoculum and a single, prominent taxonomic unit emerged in both chlorinated and non-chlorinated carbanilide enrichment cultures. Cloned 16S rRNA genes showed both enrichments were dominated by a single genotype related to uncharacterized organisms within the Alcaligenaceae. Of ∼30 sequences from each enrichment, no other organisms were detected in the TCC enrichment while, a small, flanking community of alpha proteobacteria was detected in the NCC enrichment. Study results demonstrate that growth of wastewater bacteria on TCC and its lower chlorinated analog can be linked to bacteria within the family Alcaligenaceae. These organisms are promising agents for the bioremediation of hazardous phenylurea pollutants.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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