Author(s): JOSEF ZEYER
Moraxella sp. strain G is able to utilize as sole source of carbon and nitrogen aniline, 4-fluoroaniline, 2-chloroaniline, 3-chloroaniline, 4-chloroaniline (PCA), and 4-bromoaniline but not 4-iodoaniline, 4-methylaniline, 4-methoxyaniline, or 3,4-dichloroaniline. The generation time on PCA was 6 h. The pathway for the degradation of PCA was investigated by analysis of catabolic intermediates and enzyme activities. Mutants of strain G were isolated to enhance the accumulation of specific pathway intermediates. PCA was converted by an aniline oxygenase to 4-chlorocatechol, which in turn was degraded via a modified ortho-cleavage pathway. Synthesis of the aniline oxygenase was inducible by various anilines. This enzyme exhibited a broad substrate specificity. Its specific activity towards substituted anilines seemed to be correlated more with the size than with the electron-withdrawing effect of the substituent and was very low towards anilines having substituents larger than iodine or a methyl group. The initial enzyme of the modified ortho-cleavage pathway, catechol 1,2-dioxygenase, had similar characteristics to those of corresponding enzymes of pathways for the degradation of chlorobenzoic acid and chlorophenol, that is, a broad substrate specificity and high activity towards chlorinated and methylated catechols.