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Physiological and phylogenetic characterization of a stable benzene-degrading, chlorate-reducing microbial community

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Author: Weelink, S.A.B. · Tan, N.C.G. · Broeke, H. ten · Doesburg, W. van · Langenhoff, A.A.M. · Gerritse, J. · Stams, A.J.M.
Institution: TNO Bouw en Ondergrond
Source:FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 2, 60, 312-321
Identifier: 239960
Keywords: Environment · Benzene degradation · Chlorate reduction · Enrichment culture · benzene · chlorate · anoxic conditions · bacterium · benzene · biodegradation · inorganic salt · microbial community · oxic conditions · phylogenetics · physiology · alicycliphilus denitrificans · anoxia · article · bacterial gene · bacterial growth · bacterial strain · bacterium culture · degradation kinetics · denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis · Mesorhizobium · microflora · molecular cloning · molecular phylogeny · molecular stability · nucleotide sequence · priority journal · sequence homology · stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila · zoogloea resiniphila · Bacteria · Benzene · Chlorates · DNA, Bacterial · Ecosystem · Electrophoresis · Molecular Sequence Data · Oxidation-Reduction · Phylogeny · Polymerase Chain Reaction · RNA, Ribosomal, 16S · Sequence Analysis, DNA · Alicycliphilus denitrificans · Bacteria (microorganisms) · Mesorhizobium sp. WG · Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila · Zoogloea resiniphila


A stable anoxic enrichment culture was obtained that degraded benzene with chlorate as an electron acceptor. The benzene degradation rate was 1.65 mM benzene per day, which is similar to reported aerobic benzene degradation rates but 20-1650 times higher than reported for anaerobic benzene degradation. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of part of the 16S rRNA gene, cloning and sequencing showed that the culture had a stable composition after the seventh transfer. Five bacterial clones were further analyzed. Two clones corresponded to bacteria closely related to Alicycliphilus denitrificans K601. The three other clones corresponded to bacteria closely related to Zoogloea resiniphila PIV-3A2w, Mesorhizobium sp. WG and Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila. DGGE analysis of cultures grown with different electron donors and acceptors indicated that the bacterium related to Alicycliphilus denitrificans K601 is able to degrade benzene coupled to chlorate reduction. The role of the other bacteria could not be conclusively determined. The bacterium related to Mesorhizobium sp. WG can be enriched with benzene and oxygen, but not with acetate and chlorate, while the bacterium related to Stenotrophomonas acidaminophila grows with acetate and chlorate, but not with benzene and oxygen. As oxygen is produced during chlorate reduction, an aerobic pathway of benzene degradation is most likely. © 2007 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.