Original Papers

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 148, Issue 3, pp 213-217

Anaerobic degradation of phenol by pure cultures of newly isolated denitrifying pseudomonads

  • A. TschechAffiliated withAbteilung Angewandte Mikrobiologie, Universität Ulm
  • , G. FuchsAffiliated withAbteilung Angewandte Mikrobiologie, Universität Ulm

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From various oxic or anoxic habitats several strains of bacteria were isolated which in the absence of molecular oxygen oxidized phenol to CO2 with nitrate as the terminal electron acceptor. All strains grew in defined mineral salts medium; two of them were further characterized. The bacteria were facultatively anaerobic Gramnegative rods; metabolism was strictly oxidative with molecular oxygen, nitrate, or nitrite as electron acceptor. The isolates were tentatively identified as pseudomonads. Besides phenol many other benzene derivatives like cresols or aromatic acids were anaerobically oxidized in the presence of nitrate. While benzoate or 4-hydroxybenzoate was degraded both anaerobically and aerobically, phenol was oxidized under anaerobic conditions only. Reduced alicyclic compounds were not degraded. Preliminary evidence is presented that the first reaction in anaerobic phenol oxidation is phenol carboxylation to 4-hydroxybenzoate.

Key words

Anaerobic degradation Aromatic compounds Phenol Cresol 4-Hydroxybenzoate Denitrification Pseudomonas sp.