Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 68, Issue 6, pp 794–801 | Cite as

Trichloroethylene degradation by butane-oxidizing bacteria causes a spectrum of toxic effects

  • Kimberly H. Halsey
  • Luis A. Sayavedra-Soto
  • Peter J. Bottomley
  • Daniel J. ArpEmail author
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


The physiological consequences of trichloroethylene (TCE) transformation by three butane oxidizers were examined. Pseudomonas butanovora, Mycobacterium vaccae, and Nocardioides sp. CF8 utilize distinctly different butane monooxygenases (BMOs) to initiate degradation of the recalcitrant TCE molecule. Although the primary toxic event resulting from TCE cometabolism by these three strains was loss of BMO activity, species differences were observed. P. butanovora and Nocardioides sp. CF8 maintained only 4% residual BMO activity following exposure to 165 μM TCE for 90 min and 180 min, respectively. In contrast, M. vaccae maintained 34% residual activity even after exposure to 165 μM TCE for 300 min. Culture viability was reduced 83% in P. butanovora, but was unaffected in the other two species. Transformation of 530 nmol of TCE by P. butanovora (1.0 mg total protein) did not affect the viability of BMO-deficient P. butanovora cells, whereas transformation of 482 nmol of TCE by toluene-grown Burkholderia cepacia G4 caused 87% of BMO-deficient P. butanovora cells to lose viability. Together, these results contrast with those previously reported for other bacteria carrying out TCE cometabolism and demonstrate the range of cellular toxicities associated with TCE cometabolism.


Sodium Butyrate Nocardioides Nitrosomonas Europaea Methylosinus Trichosporium Primary Toxic Event 
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 work was supported by the office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, under Agreement R-828772 through the Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly H. Halsey
    • 1
  • Luis A. Sayavedra-Soto
    • 2
  • Peter J. Bottomley
    • 3
  • Daniel J. Arp
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Molecular and Cellular Biology ProgramOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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