Biodegradation of tert-butyl alcohol and related xenobiotics by a methylotrophic bacterial isolate
A new aerobic bacterial strain, CIP I-2052, isolated from an activated sludge sample, was able to use tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), a product of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) degradation, as its sole carbon and energy source. Cobalt ions stimulated TBA mineralization. The maximum growth and TBA degradation rates were 0.032±0.004 h–1 and 35.8±8.5 mg TBA·g–1 (cell dry mass) per h, respectively. The growth yield on TBA was 0.54±0.02 g·g–1. Strain CIP I-2052 exhibited a particular substrate specificity towards alcohols. It degraded tertiary alcohols, TBA and tert-amyl alcohol (TAA), but neither their primary and secondary alcohol homologues, nor ethanol. However, one-carbon compounds, namely methanol and formate, were degraded by strain CIP I-2052, showing the methylotrophic nature of this isolate. The properties of this new strain suggest that it could be used for bioremediation of contaminated aquifers.
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