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Can J Microbiol. 1997 Apr;43(4):368-77.

Comparative study of five polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degrading bacterial strains isolated from contaminated soils.

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Centre de recherche en microbiologie appliquée, Institut Armand-Frappier, Laval, QC, Canada.


Five polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degrading bacterial strains, Pseudomonas putida 34, Pseudomonas fluorescens 62, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 57, Sphingomonas sp. strain 107, and the unidentified strain PL1, were isolated from two contaminated soils and characterized for specific features regarding PAH degradation. Degradation efficiency was determined by the rapidity to form clearing zones around colonies when sprayed with different PAH solutions and the growth in liquid medium with different PAHs as sole source of carbon and energy. The presence of plasmids, the production of biosurfactants, the effect of salicylate on PAH degradation, the transformation of indole to indigo indicating the presence of an aromatic ring dioxygenase activity, and the hybridization with the SphAb prove representing a sequence highly homologous to the naphthalene dioxygenase ferredoxin gene nahAb were examined. The most efficient strain in terms of substrate specificity and rapidity to degrade different PAHs was Sphingomonas sp. strain 107, followed by strain PL1 and P. aeruginosa 57. The less efficient strains were P. putida 34 and P. fluorescens 62. Each strain transformed indole to indigo, except strain PL1. Biosurfactants were produced by P. aeruginosa 57 and P. putida 34, and a bioemulsifier was produced by Sphingomonas sp. strain 107. The presence of salicylate in solid medium has accelerated the formation of clearing zones and the transformation of indole by Sphingomonas sp. strain 107 and P. aeruginosa 57 colonies. Plasmids were found in Sphingomonas sp. strain 107 and strain PL1. The SphAb probe hybridized with DNA extracted from each strain. However, hybridization signals were detected only in the plasmidic fraction of Sphingomonas sp. strain 107 and strain PL1. Using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approach, we determined that several genes encoding enzymes involved in the upper catabolic pathway of naphthalene were present in each strain. Sequencing of PCR DNA fragments revealed that, for all the five strains, these genes are highly homologous with respective genes found in the pah, dox, and nah operons, and are arranged in a polycistronic operon. Results suggest that these genes are ordered in the five selected strains like the pah, nah, and dox operons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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