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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 Apr;56(4):1079-86.

Isolation and characterization of a fluoranthene-utilizing strain of Pseudomonas paucimobilis.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Research Laboratory, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561.


A soil bacterium capable of utilizing fluoranthene as the sole source of carbon and energy for growth was purified from a seven-member bacterial community previously isolated from a creosote waste site for its ability to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. By standard bacteriological methods, this bacterium was characterized taxonomically as a strain of Pseudomonas paucimobilis and was designated strain EPA505. Utilization of fluoranthene by strain EPA 505 was demonstrated by increase in bacterial biomass, decrease in aqueous fluoranthene concentration, and transient formation of transformation products in liquid cultures where fluoranthene was supplied as the sole carbon source. Resting cells grown in complex medium showed activity toward anthraquinone, benzo[b]fluorene, biphenyl, chrysene, and pyrene as demonstrated by the disappearance of parent compounds or changes in their UV absorption spectra. Fluoranthene-grown resting cells were active against these compound as well as 2,3-dimethylnaphthalene, anthracene, fluoranthene, fluorene, naphthalene, and phenanthrene. These studies demonstrate that organic compounds not previously reported to serve as growth substrates can be utilized by axenic cultures of microorganisms. Such organisms may possess novel degradative systems that are active toward other compounds whose biological degradation has been limited because of inherent structural considerations or because of low aqueous solubility.

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