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Nat Biotechnol. 1997 Apr;15(4):378-82.

Bioprotection of microbial communities from toxic phenol mixtures by a genetically designed pseudomonad.

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Department of Microbiology, GBF-National Research Centre for Biotechnology, Braunschweig, Germany.


Pseudomonas sp. B13 SN45RE is a genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) that is able to simultaneously degrade mixtures of chloro- and methylaromatics ordinarily toxic for microbial communities via a designed novel ortho-cleavage pathway. The utility of the GEM was investigated in a laboratory scale sewage plant fed with mixtures of either 4-chlorophenol and 4-methyphenol or 3-chlorophenol and 4-methylphenol. In the model system the GEM significantly increased the rate and extent of degradation of the phenol mixtures. In the absence of the GEM, shock loads of the phenol mixtures (1 mM of each compound) reduced the numbers of culturable bacteria by three orders of magnitude, completely eliminated protozoa and metazoa, and caused a drastic decrease in oxygen consumption, whereas the presence of the GEM protected the indigenous microbial community and assured continued functioning of the sewage plant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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