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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 May;53(5):949-54.

Biodegradation of trichloroethylene and involvement of an aromatic biodegradative pathway.


Biodegradation of trichloroethylene (TCE) by bacterial strain G4 resulted in complete dechlorination of the compound, as indicated by the production of inorganic chloride. A component of the water from which strain G4 was isolated that was required for TCE degradation was identified as phenol. Strain G4 degraded TCE in the presence of chloramphenicol only when preinduced with phenol. Toluene, o-cresol. and m-cresol could replace the phenol requirement. Two of the inducers of TCE metabolism, phenol and toluene, apparently induced the same aromatic degradative pathway that cleaved the aromatic ring by meta fission. Cells induced with either phenol or toluene had similar oxidation rates for several aromatic compounds and had similar levels of catechol-2,3-dioxygenase. The results indicate that one or more enzymes of an inducible pathway for aromatic degradation in strain G4 are responsible for the degradation of TCE.

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