Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 671–676 | Cite as

Degradation of pyrene byRhodococcus sp. UW1

  • U. Walter
  • M. Beyer
  • J. Klein
  • H. -J. Rehm
Environment Biotechnology


A Rhodococcus species, designated strain UW1, was isolated from contaminated soil using conventional enrichment and isolation techniques. The isolate was able to use pyrene as sole source of carbon and energy; it mineralized 72% of the pyrene within 2 weeks. During growth a metabolite was detected in the culture fluid and further characterized by UV- and mass spectrometry. There is evidence that this metabolite resulted from a recyclization of the direct meta-ring-fission product of pyrene after dihydroxylation in either the 1,2- or 4,5-position. At pH 7.0 and 30°C Rhodococcus sp. UW1 showed a maximum degradation rate of 0.08 mg pyrene/ml per day, while growing with a doubling time of 30 h. The activity of the initial dioxygenase system was characterized by measuring the oxygen-consumption rates of pyrene-induced resting cells, the maxima of which occurred at pH 7.2 and 45°C. Rhodococcus sp. UW1 could also use phenathrene, anthracene, fluoranthene and chrysene as sole sources of carbon and energy, whereas naphthalene, dibenzofuran, fluorene and dibenzothiophene were only co-metabolized.


Pyrene Naphthalene Anthracene Fluoranthene Rhodococcus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Walter
    • 1
  • M. Beyer
    • 1
  • J. Klein
    • 1
  • H. -J. Rehm
    • 2
  1. 1.Deutsche Motan-Technologie-Gesellschaft für Forschung und Prüfung mbHEssen 13Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Institut für MikrobiologieWestfälische Wilhelms UniversitätMünsterFederal Republic of Germany

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