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Microbiology. 2005 Jan;151(Pt 1):45-57.

Degradation of the xenoestrogen nonylphenol by aquatic fungi and their laccases.

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  • 1Department of Groundwater Microbiology, UFZ Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Theodor-Lieser-Strasse 4, D-06120 Halle, Germany.

Abstract

Degradation of technical nonylphenol (t-NP), known as an endocrine-disrupting compound mixture, was assessed, using the mitosporic fungal strain UHH 1-6-18-4 isolated from nonylphenol-contaminated river water, and a strain of the aquatic hyphomycete Clavariopsis aquatica. GC-MS analysis could resolve 12 peaks attributable to nonyl chain-branched t-NP isomers. All were degraded, to individual extents. Analysis of degradation metabolites suggested intracellular hydroxylation of the nonyl moieties of individual t-NP isomers. Further metabolites also indicated shortening of branched nonyl chains, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid was identified as a t-NP breakdown product in UHH 1-6-18-4. The t-NP degradation efficiency was higher in UHH 1-6-18-4 than in C. aquatica, and a lower specificity in degradation of individual t-NP constituents in UHH 1-6-18-4 than in C. aquatica was observed. Strain UHH 1-6-18-4 concomitantly produced extracellular laccase under degradation conditions. A mixture of CuSO(4) and vanillic acid considerably enhanced laccase production in both fungi. Laccase preparations derived from UHH 1-6-18-4 and C. aquatica cultures also converted t-NP. Laccase-catalysed transformation of t-NP led to the formation of products with higher molecular masses than that of the parent compound. These results emphasize a role of fungi occurring in aquatic ecosystems in degradation of water contaminants with endocrine activity, which has not previously been considered. Furthermore, the results are in support of two different mechanisms employed by fungi isolated from aquatic environments to initiate t-NP degradation: hydroxylation of individual t-NP isomers at their branched nonyl chains and further breakdown of the alkyl chains of certain isomers; and attack of t-NP by extracellular laccase, the latter leading to oxidative coupling of primary radical products to compounds with higher molecular masses.

PMID:
15632424
DOI:
10.1099/mic.0.27431-0
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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