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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Aug;66(8):3446-53.

Isolation and characterization of diverse halobenzoate-degrading denitrifying bacteria from soils and sediments.

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Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology and Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525, USA.


Denitrifying bacteria capable of degrading halobenzoates were isolated from various geographical and ecological sites. The strains were isolated after initial enrichment on one of the monofluoro-, monochloro-, or monobromo-benzoate isomers with nitrate as an electron acceptor, yielding a total of 33 strains isolated from the different halobenzoate-utilizing enrichment cultures. Each isolate could grow on the selected halobenzoate with nitrate as the terminal electron acceptor. The isolates obtained on 2-fluorobenzoate could use 2-fluorobenzoate under both aerobic and denitrifying conditions, but did not degrade other halobenzoates. In contrast, the 4-fluorobenzoate isolates degraded 4-fluorobenzoate under denitrifying conditions only, but utilized 2-fluorobenzoate under both aerobic and denitrifying conditions. The strains isolated on either 3-chlorobenzoate or 3-bromobenzoate could use 3-chlorobenzoate, 3-bromobenzoate, and 2- and 4-fluorobenzoates under denitrifying conditions. The isolates were identified and classified on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and their cellular fatty acid profiles. They were placed in nine genera belonging to either the alpha-, beta-, or gamma-branch of the Proteobacteria, namely, Acidovorax, Azoarcus, Bradyrhizobium, Ochrobactrum, Paracoccus, Pseudomonas, Mesorhizobium, Ensifer, and Thauera. These results indicate that the ability to utilize different halobenzoates under denitrifying conditions is ubiquitously distributed in the Proteobacteria and that these bacteria are widely distributed in soils and sediments.

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