Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Metabolite production during transformation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) by a mixed culture acclimated and maintained on crude oil-containing media.

PMID 15133643


Metabolites formed during 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) removal by a mixed bacterial culture (acclimated and maintained on crude oil-containing medium and capable of high rates of TNT removal) were characterized. In resting cell experiments in the absence of glucose, 46.2 mg/l TNT were removed in 171 h (87.5% removal), with a combined total formation of 7.7 mg/l amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (ADNT) and 0.3 mg/l 4,4'-azoxytetranitrotoluene and 2',4-azoxytetranitrotoluene, leaving 70% of the initial TNT unaccounted for. In the presence of glucose, resting cells removed 45.4 mg/l TNT in 49 h (95.5% removal), with 9.1 mg/l ADNT and 2.4 mg/l azoxy compounds being produced, leaving 70.3% of the TNT unaccounted for. Growing cells (glucose present) were capable of removing 44.2 mg/l TNT within 21 h (97.9% removal), with the concomitant formation of 1.8 mg/l ADNTs and 2.2 mg/l azoxy compounds. Denitrated TNT in the form of 2,6-dinitrotoluene was also produced in growing cells with a maximum amount of 1.31 mg/l after 28 h, followed by a slight decrease with time, leaving 88.5% of the initial TNT unaccounted for after 171 h. Radiolabeled (14)C-TNT studies revealed 4.14% mineralization after an incubation period of 163 days with growing cells.