Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Utilization of arylaliphatic nitriles by haloalkaliphilic Halomonas nitrilicus sp. nov. isolated from soda soils.

PMID 18795282


An enrichment culture from saline soda soils, using acetate as carbon and energy source and 2-phenylpropionitrile as nitrogen source (PPN) at pH 10, resulted in the isolation of strain ANL-alpha CH3. The strain was identified as a representative of the genus Halomonas in the Gammaproteobacteria. The bacterium was capable of PPN utilization as a nitrogen source only, while phenylacetonitrile (PAN) served both as carbon, energy and nitrogen source. This capacity was not described previously for any other haloalkaliphilic bacteria. Apart from the nitriles mentioned above, resting cells of ANL-alpha CH3 also hydrolyzed mandelonitrile, benzonitrile, acrylonitrile, and phenylglycinonitrile, presumably using nitrilase pathway. Neither nitrile hydratase nor amidase activity was detected. The isolate showed a capacity to grow with benzoate and salicylate as carbon and energy source and demonstrated the ability to completely mineralize PAN. These clearly indicated a potential to catabolize aromatic compounds. On the basis of unique phenotype and distinct phylogeny, strain ANL-alpha CH3 is proposed as a novel species of the genus Halomonas--Halomonas nitrilicus sp. nov.

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