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Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Aerobic biodegradation of selected monoterpenes.


PMID 8987470

Abstract

Batch experiments were conducted to assess the biotransformation potential of four hydrocarbon monoterpenes (d-limonene, alpha-pinene, gamma-terpinene, and terpinolene) and four alcohols (arbanol, linalool, plinol, and alpha-terpineol) under aerobic conditions at 23 degrees C. Both forest-soil extract and enriched cultures were used as inocula for the biodegradation experiments conducted first without, then with prior microbial acclimation to the monoterpenes tested. All four hydrocarbons and two alcohols were readily degraded. The increase in biomass and headspace CO2 concentrations paralleled the depletion of monoterpenes, thus confirming that terpene disappearance was the result of biodegradation accompanied by microbial growth and mineralization. Plinol resisted degradation in assays using inocula from diverse sources, while arbanol degraded very slowly. A significant fraction of d-limonene-derived carbon was accounted for as non-extractable, dissolved organic carbon, whereas terpineol exhibited a much higher degree of utilization. The rate and extent of monoterpene biodegradation were not significantly affected by the presence of dissolved natural organic matter.

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