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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38676. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038676. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Metabolism of 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol in a gram negative bacterium, Burkholderia sp. RKJ 800.

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Environmental Biotechnology, Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR), Chandigarh, India.


A 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol (2C4NP) degrading bacterial strain designated as RKJ 800 was isolated from a pesticide contaminated site of India by enrichment method and utilized 2C4NP as sole source of carbon and energy. The stoichiometric amounts of nitrite and chloride ions were detected during the degradation of 2C4NP. On the basis of thin layer chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, chlorohydroquinone (CHQ) and hydroquinone (HQ) were identified as major metabolites of the degradation pathway of 2C4NP. Manganese dependent HQ dioxygenase activity was observed in the crude extract of 2C4NP induced cells of the strain RKJ 800 that suggested the cleavage of the HQ to γ-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde. On the basis of the 16S rRNA gene sequencing, strain RKJ 800 was identified as a member of genus Burkholderia. Our studies clearly showed that Burkholderia sp. RKJ 800 degraded 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol via hydroquinone pathway. The pathway identified in a gram negative bacterium, Burkholderia sp. strain RKJ 800 was differed from previously reported 2C4NP degradation pathway in another gram-negative Burkholderia sp. SJ98. This is the first report of the formation of CHQ and HQ in the degradation of 2C4NP by any gram-negative bacteria. Laboratory-scale soil microcosm studies showed that strain RKJ 800 is a suitable candidate for bioremediation of 2C4NP contaminated sites.

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