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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Nov;288(1):112-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01341.x.

Amphoteric surfactant N-oleoyl-N-methyltaurine utilized by Pseudomonas alcaligenes with excretion of N-methyltaurine.


The amphoteric surfactant N-oleoyl-N-methyltaurine, which is in use in skin-care products, was utilized by aerobic bacteria as the sole source of carbon or of nitrogen in enrichment cultures. One isolate, which was identified as Pseudomonas alcaligenes, grew with the xenobiotic compound as the sole source of carbon and energy. The sulfonate moiety, N-methyltaurine, was excreted quantitatively during growth, while the fatty acid was dissimilated. The initial degradative reaction was shown to be hydrolytic and inducible. This amidase reaction could be demonstrated with crude cell extracts. The excreted N-methyltaurine could be utilized by other bacteria in cocultures. Complete degradation of similar natural compounds in bacterial communities seems likely.

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