Applied and environmental microbiology

Metabolism of glyphosate in Pseudomonas sp. strain LBr.

PMID 3223761


Metabolism of glyphosate (N-phosphonomethylglycine) by Pseudomonas sp. strain LBr, a bacterium isolated from a glyphosate process waste stream, was examined by a combination of solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance experiments and analysis of the phosphonate composition of the growth medium. Pseudomonas sp. strain LBr was capable of eliminating 20 mM glyphosate from the growth medium, an amount approximately 20-fold greater than that reported for any other microorganism to date. The bacterium degraded high levels of glyphosate, primarily by converting it to aminomethylphosphonate, followed by release into the growth medium. Only a small amount of aminomethylphosphonate (about 0.5 to 0.7 mM), which is needed to supply phosphorus for growth, could be metabolized by the microorganism. Solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of strain LBr grown on 1 mM [2-13C,15N]glyphosate showed that about 5% of the glyphosate was degraded by a separate pathway involving breakdown of glyphosate to glycine, a pathway first observed in Pseudomonas sp. strain PG2982. Thus, Pseudomonas sp. strain LBr appears to possess two distinct routes for glyphosate detoxification.