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Journal of basic microbiology

Etherolytic cleavage of 4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)butyric acid and 4-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)butyric acid by species of Rhodococcus and Aureobacterium isolated from an alkaline environment.


PMID 9867509

Abstract

Bacterial strains were isolated from the concrete rubble of a demolished herbicide production plant. The predominant feature of these strains was the etherolytic cleavage of 4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)butyric acid (DCPB)1) and 4-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)butyric acid (MCPB) while liberating 2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP) and 4-chloro-2-methylphenol (MCP) respectively. Some of the isolates were identified by 16S rDNA sequence analysis and shown to belong to the genera Aureobacterium sp. (strain K2-17) and Rhodococcus (Rh. erythropolis K2-12). The other strains isolated clustered into these two groups according to fatty acid analysis. Etherolytic cleavage proceeded under neutral to alkaline conditions with an optimum at around pH 8.5. With Aureobacterium sp. No. K2-17, the degradation rate was zero at a pH of 6 but as much as 60% of the maximum activity was observed at pH 10.5. With Rh. erythropolis K2-12, by contrast, pronounced activity was detected at pH 6.5 while degradation was no longer observed at pH 10.5. The maximum rates of cleavage were about 1 mmol DCPB/h.g dry mass with Aureobacterium sp. No. K2-17 and about 0.6 mmol DCPB/h.g dry mass with Rh. erythropolis K2-12. DCPB and MCPB were utilized to the same extent. Substrate cleavage and product formation (DCP) proceeded at almost equal rates with Aureobacterium sp. No. K2-17 and Rh. erythropolis K2-12, which indicates that this compound was not further metabolized. Only phenoxybutyric acid compounds served as substrates; phenoxyacetic acid and phenoxypropionic acid derivatives were not utilized by these strains.