Author(s): Juliette LY, Hyman MR, Arp DJ
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Abstract Organic sulfur compounds are well-known nitrification inhibitors. The inhibitory effects of dimethylsulfide, dimethyldisulfide, and ethanethiol on ammonia oxidation by Nitrosomonas europaea were examined. Both dimethylsulfide and dimethyldisulfide were weak inhibitors of ammonia oxidation and exhibited inhibitory characteristics typical of substrates for ammonia monooxygenase (AMO). Depletion of dimethylsulfide required O(2) and was prevented with either acetylene or allylthiourea, two inhibitors of AMO. The inhibition of ammonia oxidation by dimethylsulfide was examined in detail. Cell suspensions incubated in the presence of ammonia oxidized dimethylsulfide to dimethyl sulfoxide. Depletion of six other thioethers was also prevented by treating cell suspensions with either allylthiourea or acetylene. The oxidative products of three thioethers were identified as the corresponding sulfoxides. The amount of sulfoxide formed accounted for a majority of the amount of sulfide depleted. By using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, allylmethylsulfide was shown to be oxidized to allylmethylsulfoxide by N. europaea with the incorporation of a single atom of O derived from O(2) into the sulfide. This result supported our conclusion that a monooxygenase was involved in the oxidation of allylmethylsulfide. The thioethers are concluded to be a new class of substrates for AMO. This is the first report of the oxidation of the sulfur atom by AMO in whole cells of N. europaea. The ability of N. europaea to oxidize dimethylsulfide is not unique among the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Nitrosococcus oceanus, a marine nitrifier, was also demonstrated to oxidize dimethylsulfide to dimethyl sulfoxide.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care