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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 May;88(5):764-72.

Degradation of 4-nitrocatechol by Burkholderia cepacia: a plasmid-encoded novel pathway.

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Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India.


Pseudomonas cepacia RKJ200 (now described as Burkholderia cepacia) has been shown to utilize p-nitrophenol (PNP) as sole carbon and energy source. The present work demonstrates that RKJ200 utilizes 4-nitrocatechol (NC) as the sole source of carbon, nitrogen and energy, and is degraded with concomitant release of nitrite ions. Several lines of evidence, including thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography, 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, spectral analyses and quantification of intermediates by high performance liquid chromatography, have shown that NC is degraded via 1,2, 4-benzenetriol (BT) and hydroquinone (HQ) formation. Studies carried out on a PNP- derivative and a PNP+ transconjugant also demonstrate that the genes for the NC degradative pathway reside on the plasmid present in RKJ200; the same plasmid had earlier been shown to encode genes for PNP degradation, which is also degraded via HQ formation. It is likely, therefore, that the same sets of genes encode the further metabolism of HQ in NC and PNP degradation.

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