, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 93–104

Biodegradation of 2-methyl, 2-ethyl, and 2-hydroxypyridine by an Arthrobacter sp. isolated from subsurface sediment

  • Authors
  • Edward J. O'Loughlin
  • Gerald K. Sims
  • Samuel J. Traina

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008309026751

Cite this article as:
O'Loughlin, E.J., Sims, G.K. & Traina, S.J. Biodegradation (1999) 10: 93. doi:10.1023/A:1008309026751


A bacterium capable of degrading 2-methylpyridine was isolated by enrichment techniques from subsurface sediments collected from an aquifer located at an industrial site that had been contaminated with pyridine and pyridine derivatives. The isolate, identified as an Arthrobacter sp., was capable of utilizing 2-methylpyridine, 2-ethylpyridine, and 2-hydroxypyridine as primary C, N, and energy sources. The isolate was also able to utilize 2-, 3-, and 4-hydroxybenzoate, gentisic acid, protocatechuic acid and catechol, suggesting that it possesses a number of enzymatic pathways for the degradation of aromatic compounds. Degradation of 2-methylpyridine, 2-ethylpyridine, and 2-hydroxypyridine was accompanied by growth of the isolate and release of ammonium into the medium. Degradation of 2-methylpyridine was accompanied by overproduction of riboflavin. A soluble blue pigment was produced by the isolate during the degradation of 2-hydroxypyridine, and may be related to the diazadiphenoquinones reportedly produced by other Arthrobacter spp. when grown on 2-hydroxypyridine. When provided with 2-methylpyridine, 2-ethylpyridine, and 2-hydroxypyridine simultaneously, 2-hydroxypyridine was rapidly and preferentially degraded; however there was no apparent biodegradation of either 2-methylpyridine or 2-ethylpyridine until after a seven day lag. The data suggest that there are differences between the pathway for 2-hydroxypyridine degradation and the pathway(s) for 2-methylpyridine and 2-ethylpyridine.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999