Send to

Choose Destination
Naturwissenschaften. 2000 Jan;87(1):12-23.

Anaerobic degradation of phenolic compounds.

Author information

Fakultät für Biologie, Universität Konstanz, Postfach 5560, D-78457 Constance, Germany.


Mononuclear aromatic compounds are degraded anaerobically through three main pathways, the benzoyl-CoA pathway, the resorcinol pathway, and the phloroglucinol pathway. Various modification reactions channel a broad variety of mononuclear aromatics including aromatic hydrocarbons into either one of these three pathways. Recently, a further pathway was discovered with hydroxyhydroquinone as central intermediate through which especially nitrate-reducing bacteria degrade phenolic compounds and some hydroxylated benzoates. Comparison of the various strategies taken for the degradation of aromatics in the absence of oxygen demonstrates that the biochemistry of breakdown of these compounds is determined largely by the overall reaction energetics and, more precisely, by the redox potentials of the electron acceptor systems used. Nitrate reducers differ in their strategies significantly from those used by sulfate-reducing or fermenting bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center