Ecotoxicology and environmental safety

Isolation and characterization of a novel 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid-degrading Enterobacter sp. strain SE08.

PMID 23856120


A bacterial strain (SE08) capable of utilizing 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy acetic acid (MCPA) as the sole carbon and energy source for growth was isolated by continuous enrichment culturing in minimal salt medium (MSM) from a long term MCPA exposed soil. This bacterial strain was identified as Enterobacter sp. based on morphological, physiological and biochemical tests, as well as 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Its ability to degrade MCPA was determined using high performance liquid chromatography. The strain SE08 can tolerate unusually high MCPA concentrations (125-2000mg/L). The influences of culturing factors (initial concentration, pH, and temperature) on the bacterial growth and substrate degradation were studied. The results showed that the optimal MCPA degradation occurred at an MCPA concentration of 500mg/L, 30°C and pH 6.0. Under these conditions, 68.5 percent of MCPA in MSM was degraded by SE08, and the OD600nm reached 0.64 after culturing for 72h. The degradation of MCPA could be enhanced by addition of both carbon and nitrogen sources. At an initial MCPA concentration of 500mg/L, when 5g/L glucose and 2.5g/L yeast extract were added into the MSM media, the MCPA degradation was significantly increased to 83.8 percent, and OD600nm was increased to 1.09 after incubation at 30°C and pH 6.0 for 72h. This is the first study showing that an Enterobacter sp. strain is capable of degrading MCPA, which might provide a new approach for the remediation of MCPA contaminated soil and contribute to the limited knowledge about the function of Enterobacter species.