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Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Jun 1;39(11):4005-11.

Enhanced biodegradation of beta- and delta-hexachlorocyclohexane in the presence of alpha- and gamma-isomers in contaminated soils.

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Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Post Box No 80, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow-226 001, India.


The chlorinated insecticide hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) has been used extensively in the past, and contaminated sites are present throughout the world. Toward their bioremediation, we isolated a bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa ITRC-5 that mediates the degradation of all the four major isomers of HCH under aerobic conditions, both in liquid-culture and contaminated soils. In liquid-culture, the degradation of alpha- and gamma-HCH is rapid and is accompanied with the release of 5.6 micromole chloride ions and 4.1 micromole CO2 micromole(-1) HCH-isomer. The degradation of beta- and delta-isomers is slow, accompanied with the release of 0.9 micromole chloride ions micromole(-1) HCH-isomer, and results in a transient metabolite 2,3,4,5,6-pentachlorocyclohexan-1-ol. The strain ITRC-5 also mediates the degradation of alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-isomers in contaminated soils, where degradation of otherwise persistent beta- and delta-HCH is enhanced severalfold in the presence of alpha- or gamma-HCH. The degradation of soil-applied beta- and delta-HCH under aerobic conditions has not been reported earlier. The isolate ITRC-5 therefore demonstrates potential for the bioremediation of HCH-wastes and contaminated soils.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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