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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;98(2):875-84. doi: 10.1007/s00253-013-4854-5. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Bacterial polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases in the sediments from the Pearl River estuary, China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510301, China.


Bacterial community compositions were characterized using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA gene in the sediments of the Pearl River estuary. Sequencing analyses of the excised bands indicated that Gram-negative bacteria, especially Gammaproteobacteria, were dominant in the Pearl River estuary. The diversity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ring-hydroxylating dioxygenase (PAH-RHD) gene in this estuary was then assessed by clone library analysis. The phylogenetic analyses showed that all PAH-RHD gene sequences of Gram-negative bacteria (PAH-RHD[GN]) were closely related to the nagAc gene described for Ralstonia sp. U2 or nahAc gene for Pseudomonas sp. 9816-4, while the PAH-RHD gene sequences of Gram-positive bacteria (PAH-RHD[GP]) at sampling site A1 showed high sequence similarity to the nidA gene from Mycobacterium species. Meanwhile, molecular diversity of the two functional genes was higher at the upstream of this region, while lower at the downstream. Redundancy analysis indicated that environmental factors, such as NH₄--N, ∑PAHs, pH, SiO₃--Si, and water depth, affected the distribution of the PAH-RHD[GN] gene in the Pearl River estuary.

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