Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 339–348 | Cite as

Selective and faster nicotine biodegradation by genetically modified Pseudomonas sp. JY-Q in the presence of glucose

  • Hui Zhang
  • Rui Zhao
  • Chaochao Huang
  • Jun Li
  • Yunhai Shao
  • Jian Xu
  • Ming Shu
  • Weihong Zhong
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Pseudomonas sp. JY-Q is a nicotine-degrading strain isolated from tobacco waste extract (TWE). In TWE, the nicotine is a toxic chemical and requires removal. However, it was found that glucose in TWE inhibited the degradation of nicotine. Bioinformatics analysis of JY-Q complete genome found five genes encoding the first-step enzymes of glucose metabolism, one glucokinase (gck, AA098_22370) and four glucose dehydrogenases (gdh, AA098_12490, 22860, 11910, and 05800). Homogonous recombinant strategy was utilized to delete all the five genes from JY-Q genome one by one. The resultant quinary mutant strain JY-Q/5∆ exhibited no growth on glucose as the sole carbon source and selective degradation of nicotine in medium coexisting with glucose. The result of single complementation in the quinary mutant showed that only gck and gdh-05800 genes exhibited significant effect on the initial steps of glucose metabolism. Although the growth of JY-Q/5∆ seemed worse in basic inorganic medium (BSM) with coexisting glucose and nicotine, the nicotine degradation rate per cell weight of JY-Q/5∆ reached 12.68 mg/mg/h, about four times higher than that of the wild-type strain. The resting cells of JY-Q/5∆ also showed better ability of nicotine degradation than the wild type in BSM coexisting with glucose. In 5% diluted TWE containing 0.8 g/L nicotine, the resting cells of JY-Q/5∆ degraded all nicotine within 24 h, 20% faster than the wild-type strain. JY-Q/5∆ is potential to selectively degrade nicotine in glucose-nicotine coexisting environment.


Nicotine Glucose inhibition Selectively biodegradation Gene knock out Tobacoo waste extract Pseudomonas sp. JY-Q 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31670115). Professor Ningyi Zhou of Shanghai Jiaotong University was also appreciated for his helpful suggestions.

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they comply with ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_9445_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (228 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 227 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Biotechnology and BioengineeringZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Technology Center, China Tobacco Zhejiang Industrial Co. Ltd.HangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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