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Can J Microbiol. 1999 Jun;45(6):520-9.

Cross-induction of pyrene and phenanthrene in a Mycobacterium sp. isolated from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contaminated river sediments.

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Ecosystems Research Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, Georgia 30605, USA.


A polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading culture enriched from contaminated river sediments and a Mycobacterium sp. isolated from the enrichment were tested to investigate the possible synergistic and antagonistic interactions affecting the degradation of pyrene in the presence of low molecular weight PAHs. The Mycobacterium sp. was able to mineralize 63% of the added pyrene when it was present as a sole source of carbon and energy. When the enrichment culture and the isolated bacterium were exposed to phenanthrene, de novo protein synthesis was not required for the rapid mineralization of pyrene, which reached 52% in chloramphenicol-treated cultures and 44% in the absence of the protein inhibitor. In the presence of chloramphenicol, < 1% of the added pyrene was mineralized by the mixed culture after exposure to anthracene and naphthalene. These compounds did not inhibit pyrene utilization when present at the same time as pyrene. Concurrent mineralization of pyrene and phenanthrene after exposure to either compound was observed. Cross-acclimation between ring classes of PAHs may be a potentially important interaction influencing the biodegradation of aromatic compounds in contaminated environments.

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