Evidence for the role of zinc on the performance of dibenzothiophene desulfurization by Gordonia alkanivorans strain 1B

  • Luís Alves
  • José Matos
  • Rogério Tenreiro
  • Francisco M. Gírio
Short Communication


Gordonia alkanivorans strain 1B is able to desulfurize dibenzothiophene (DBT) to 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2-HBP), the final product of the 4S pathway. However, both the cell growth and the rate of desulfurization can be largely affected by the nutrient composition of the growth medium due to cofactor requirements of many enzymes involved in the biochemical pathways. In this work, the effect of several metal ions on the growth and DBT desulfurization by G. alkanivorans was studied. From all the metal ions tested, only the absence of zinc significantly affected the cell growth and the desulfurization rate. By increasing the concentration of Zn from 1 to 10 mg L−1, 2-HBP productivity was improved by 26%. The absence of Zn2+, when sulfate was also used as the only sulfur source, did not cause any difference in the bacterial growth. Resting cells grown in the presence of Zn2+ exhibited a 2-HBP specific productivity of 2.29 μmol g−1 (DCW) h−1, 7.6-fold higher than the specific productivity obtained by resting cells grown in the absence of Zn2+ (0.30 μmol g−1 (DCW) h−1). These data suggests that zinc might have a key physiological role in the metabolism of DBT desulfurization.


Dibenzothiophene Biodesulfurization Gordonia alkanivorans Zinc Enzyme cofactors 



This work has been supported by the contract POCTI/AMB/59108/04.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luís Alves
    • 1
  • José Matos
    • 1
  • Rogério Tenreiro
    • 2
  • Francisco M. Gírio
    • 1
  1. 1.INETI, Departamento de BiotecnologiaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.FCUL, Departamento de Biologia VegetalCentro de genética e Biologia MolecularLisbonPortugal

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