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Biodegradation. 1990;1(2-3):191-206.

The biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons by bacteria.

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Division of Industrial Microbiology, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Aromatic compounds of both natural and man-made sources abound in the environment. The degradation of such chemicals is mainly accomplished by microorganisms. This review provides key background information but centres on recent developments in the bacterial degradation of selected man-made aromatic compounds. An aromatic compound can only be considered to be biodegraded if the ring undergoes cleavage, and this is taken as the major criteria for inclusion in this review (although the exact nature of the enzymic ring-cleavage has not been confirmed in all cases discussed). The biodegradation of benzene, certain arenes, biphenyl and selected fused aromatic hydrocarbons, by single bacterial isolates, are dealt with in detail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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