Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 366–373 | Cite as

Pseudomonas putida as the dominant toluene-degrading bacterial species during air decontamination by biofiltration

  • S. Roy
  • J. Gendron
  • M.-C. Delhoménie
  • L. Bibeau
  • M. Heitz
  • R. BrzezinskiEmail author
Original Paper


The microbial communities established in three laboratory-scale compost matrix biofilters fed with toluene were characterized. The biofilters were operated for 7 weeks at inlet concentrations of toluene ranging over 250–500 ppm with daily irrigation, using a nutrient solution containing variable concentrations of nitrogen, supplied as urea, and other inorganic salts. The indigenous microflora of the compost included toluene-degrading species, making inoculation unnecessary. The numerically predominant toluene-degrading strains were isolated from the most diluted positive wells of most-probable-number counts on mineral medium with toluene as sole carbon source and identified by rRNA 16S gene sequencing. On the basis of sequence similarity, all the isolated strains were assigned to the species Pseudomonas putida, although some variations were observed in their respective sequences. It is concluded that the mode of biofilter operation including a daily supply of non-carbon nutrients created an environment favoring the constant numerical predominance of this fast-growing toluene-degrading species.


Removal Efficiency Nutrient Solution Pseudomonas Putida Microbial Count Elimination Capacity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This project was supported by a strategic research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to M.H. and R.B. We express our gratitude to Ecosphera (Fleurimont, Qc., Canada) and Outarde Environnement (Montréal, Qc., Canada) for their participation in this project. We thank Paulina Drobnik for technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Roy
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Gendron
    • 1
  • M.-C. Delhoménie
    • 2
  • L. Bibeau
    • 2
  • M. Heitz
    • 2
  • R. Brzezinski
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre d'Étude et de Valorisation de la Diversité Microbienne, Département de Biologie, Faculté des SciencesUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Département de Génie Chimique, Faculté de GénieUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  3. 3.Biotechnology Research Institute–Canadian National Research CouncilMontréalCanada

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