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Applied and environmental microbiology

Degradation of alkyl ethers, aralkyl ethers, and dibenzyl ether by Rhodococcus sp. strain DEE5151, isolated from diethyl ether-containing enrichment cultures.


PMID 15240329

Abstract

Twenty strains isolated from sewage sludge were found to degrade various ethers, including alkyl ethers, aralkyl ethers, and dibenzyl ether. In Rhodococcus strain DEE5151, induction of ether degradation needed substrates exhibiting at least one unsubstituted Calpha-methylene moiety as the main structural prerequisite. The cleavage reaction observed with anisole, phenetole, and dibenzyl ether indicates that the initial oxidation occurs at such respective Calpha positions. Diethyl ether-induced strain DEE5151 degraded dibenzyl ether via intermediately accumulated benzoic acid. Phenetole seems to be subject also to another ether-cleaving enzyme. Other strains of this group showed different enzymatic activities towards the substrate classes investigated.