Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 489–499 | Cite as

Description of Citricoccus nitrophenolicus sp. nov., a para-nitrophenol degrading actinobacterium isolated from a wastewater treatment plant and emended description of the genus Citricoccus Altenburger et al. 2002

  • Marie Bank Nielsen
  • Kasper Urup Kjeldsen
  • Kjeld IngvorsenEmail author
Original Paper


A novel actinobacterium, designated PNP1T, was isolated from a wastewater treatment plant at a pesticide factory by selective enrichment with para-nitrophenol. The strictly aerobic strain PNP1T grew with para-nitrophenol as the sole carbon and energy source. Metabolism of para-nitrophenol resulted in the stoichiometric release of nitrite. When incubated with both para-nitrophenol and acetate, para-nitrophenol was degraded and utilized as growth substrate prior to acetate. When grown on acetate (in the absence of ammonium) both nitrite and nitrate served as nitrogen sources, nitrate being quantitatively reduced to nitrite which accumulated in cultures during aerobic growth. Cells were coccoid and stained Gram-positive, were non-motile and did not form endospores. Colonies of strain PNP1T on agar medium were bright yellow, circular and smooth. The dominant menaquinone was MK-8(H2) (54%) and the major cellular fatty acid was anteiso C15:0 (75%). Strain PNP1T grew optimally at 27°C, at pH 8-8.5, at salinities 3% (w/v) NaCl, yet exhibited a substantial halotolerance with growth occurring at salinities up to 17% (w/v) NaCl. In addition to para-nitrophenol, a range of sugars, short chain fatty acids and alcohols served as electron donors for growth. The DNA G + C mol% was 68%. The genotypic and phenotypic properties suggest that strain PNP1T represents a novel species of the actinobacterial genus Citricoccus for which the name Citricoccus nitrophenolicus is proposed. It is the first member of this genus that has been reported to hydrolyze and grow on para-nitrophenol. The type strain is PNP1T (=DSM 23311T = CCUG 59571T).


Actinobacteria Taxonomy Para-nitrophenol degradation Xenobiotics 



The research was supported by a joint grant from Cheminova A/S, Central Denmark Region and The Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF). Thanks are due to Tove Wiegers for excellent technical assistance and to Inger Skov and Bo Breinbjerg for providing samples and information concerning the wastewater treatment plant at Cheminova A/S. Thanks are also due to J. P. Euzéby for providing the etymology of the species name. We are also indebted to the Editor and two anonymous reviewers for suggestions and comments that greatly improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Bank Nielsen
    • 1
  • Kasper Urup Kjeldsen
    • 2
  • Kjeld Ingvorsen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, MicrobiologyAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Center for Geomicrobiology, Department of Biological SciencesAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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