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Biodegradation. 2005 Dec;16(6):539-47.

Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) degradation by Acetobacterium paludosum.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Iowa, Seamans Center, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Substrates and nutrients are often added to contaminated soil or groundwater to enhance bioremediation. Nevertheless, this practice may be counterproductive in some cases where nutrient addition might relieve selective pressure for pollutant biodegradation. Batch experiments with a homoacetogenic pure culture of Acetobacterium paludosum showed that anaerobic RDX degradation is the fastest when auxiliary growth substrates (yeast extract plus fructose) and nitrogen sources (ammonium) are not added. This bacterium degraded RDX faster under autotrophic (H2-fed) than under heterotrophic conditions, even though heterotrophic growth was faster. The inhibitory effect of ammonium is postulated to be due to the repression of enzymes that initiate RDX degradation by reducing its nitro groups, based on the known fact that ammonia represses nitrate and nitrite reductases. This observation suggests that the absence of easily assimilated nitrogen sources, such as ammonium, enhances RDX degradation. Although specific end products of RDX degradation were not determined, the production of nitrous oxide (N2O) suggests that A. paludosum cleaved the triazine ring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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