Author(s): van Schie PM, Young LY
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Phenol is a man-made as well as a naturally occurring aromatic compound and an important intermediate in the biodegradation of natural and industrial aromatic compounds. Whereas many microorganisms that are capable of aerobic phenol degradation have been isolated, only a few phenol-degrading anaerobic organisms have been described to date. In this study, three novel nitrate-reducing microorganisms that are capable of using phenol as a sole source of carbon were isolated and characterized. Phenol-degrading denitrifying pure cultures were obtained by enrichment culture from anaerobic sediments obtained from three different geographic locations, the East River in New York, N.Y., a Florida orange grove, and a rain forest in Costa Rica. The three strains were shown to be different from each other based on physiologic and metabolic properties. Even though analysis of membrane fatty acids did not result in identification of the organisms, the fatty acid profiles were found to be similar to those of Azoarcus species. Sequence analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA also indicated that the phenol-degrading isolates were closely related to members of the genus Azoarcus. The results of this study add three new members to the genus Azoarcus, which previously comprised only nitrogen-fixing species associated with plant roots and denitrifying toluene degraders.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology