Effect of surfactant solubilization on biodegradation of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners by Pseudomonas LB400
- Cite this article as:
- Billingsley, K., Backus, S. & Ward, O. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (1999) 52: 255. doi:10.1007/s002530051518
A variety of commercial surfactants were tested to determine their effect on polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) transformation by Pseudomonas LB400. Initial tests determined that most surfactants were fully or partially able to solubilize the PCB congeners 2,5,2′-chlorobiphenyl (CBP), 2,4,2′,4′-CBP, 2,3,5,2′,5′-CBP and 2,4,5,2′,4′,5′-CBP, at concentrations above the surfactants' critical micelle concentration (CMC). Surfactants were also found to have no negative effect on bacterial survival, as cell numbers were the same or higher after incubation in the presence of surfactants than after incubation without surfactants. A comparison of the extent of biotransformation of single PCB congeners by the bacterium revealed that, at surfactant concentrations above the CMC, the presence of an anionic surfactant promoted while nonionic surfactants inhibited PCB transformation, compared to a control with no surfactant. The rates of transformation of PCB congeners were also higher in the presence of the anionic surfactant compared to the control. The inhibitory effects of a nonionic surfactant, Igepal CO-630 at a concentration above its CMC, on transformation of 2,4,5,2′,5′-CBP could be eliminated by diluting the surfactant/PCB solution to a concentration close to the surfactant CMC.