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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 1999 Oct;23(4-5):391-399.

Degradation of substituted naphthalenesulfonic acids by Sphingomonas xenophaga BN6.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Universität Stuttgart, Allmandring 31, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.


Sphingomonas xenophaga BN6 was isolated from the river Elbe as a member of a multispecies bacterial culture which mineralized 6-aminonaphthalene-2-sulfonate. Pure cultures of strain BN6 converted a wide range of amino- and hydroxynaphthalene-2-sulfonates via a catabolic pathway similar to that described for the metabolism of naphthalene to salicylate by Pseudomonas putida NAH7 or Pseudomonas sp NCIB 9816. In contrast to the naphthalene-degrading pseudomonads, S. xenophaga BN6 only partially degraded the naphthalenesulfonates and excreted the resulting amino- and hydroxysalicylates in almost stoichiometric amounts. Enzymes that take part in the degradative pathway of the naphthalenesulfonates by strain BN6 were purified, characterized and compared with the isofunctional enzymes from the naphthalene-degrading pseudomonads. According to the enzyme structures and the catalytic constants, no fundamental differences were found between the 1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene dioxygenase or the 2'-hydroxybenzalpyruvate aldolase from strain BN6 and the isofunctional enzymes from the naphthalene-degrading pseudomonads. The limited available sequence information about the enzymes from strain BN6 suggests that they show about 40-60% sequence identity to the isofunctional enzymes from the pseudomonads. In addition to the gene for the 1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene dioxygenase, the genes for two other extradiol dioxygenases were cloned and sequenced from strain BN6 and the corresponding gene products were studied. S. xenophaga BN6 has also been used as a model organism to study the mechanism of the non-specific reduction of azo dyes under anaerobic conditions and to establish combined anaerobic/aerobic treatment systems for the degradation of sulfonated azo dyes. Furthermore, the degradation of substituted naphthalenesulfonates by mixed cultures containing strain BN6 was studied in continuous cultures and was described by mathematical models.


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