Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2005 May;67(3):420-8. Epub 2005 Jan 14.

Isolation and taxonomic affiliation of N-heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-transforming bacteria.

Author information

Department of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology, National Environmental Research Institute, Roskilde, Denmark.


The azaarenes (nitrogen-containing heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are products of incomplete combustion processes and thus are widely distributed with tar and oil products in the environment. Despite their adverse organoleptic, toxic, and carcinogenic characteristics, the biodegradability and fate of multi-ring azaarenes have received little attention. This work demonstrates the presence of genetically diverse azaarene-degrading bacteria in coal tar-contaminated soils. Thirty-eight bacterial strains able to transform the three-ring azaarenes, 5,6- and 7,8-benzoquinoline, phenanthridine, phenazine, or acridine, were isolated. Only seven of these strains grew in liquid medium on the specific azaarene compounds on which they were isolated using plates; and the rest transformed the azaarenes without growth. Taxonomic characterization by 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing revealed that our enrichment technique provided a diversity of 18 different azaarene-transforming bacterial species. Only a few strains were able to mineralize the homocyclic analogue, phenanthrene. Several of the isolates, e.g., Dyadobacter fermentans, Methylopila capsulata, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens, were related to genera relatively unknown with respect to the biodegradation of xenobiotic compounds. These strains can provide further information on the fate of azaarenes in the environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center