Biodegradation

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 525–539 | Cite as

The recent evolution of pentachlorophenol (PCP)-4-monooxygenase (PcpB) and associated pathways for bacterial degradation of PCP

  • Ronald L. Crawford
  • Carina M. Jung
  • Janice L. Strap
Review

Abstract

Man-made polychlorinated phenols such as pentachlorophenol (PCP) have been used extensively since the 1920s as preservatives to prevent fungal attack on wood. During this time, they have become serious environmental contaminants. Despite the recent introduction of PCP in the environment on an evolutionary time scale, PCP-degrading bacteria are present in soils worldwide. The initial enzyme in the PCP catabolic pathway of numerous sphingomonads, PCP-4-monooxygenase (PcpB), catalyzes the para-hydroxylation of PCP to tetrachlorohydroquinone and is encoded by the pcpB gene. This review examines the literature concerning pcpB and supports the suggestion that pcpB/PcpB should be considered a model system for the study of recent evolution of catabolic pathways among bacteria that degrade xenobiotic molecules introduced into the environment during the recent past.

Keywords

Pentachlorophenol PCP pcpB Sphingomonas Lateral gene transfer Gene recruitment 

Abbreviations

PCP

pentachlorophenol

LGT

lateral gene transfer

MAAI

maleylacetate isomerase

ORF

open reading frame

PCR

polymerase chain reaction

RFLP

restriction fragment length polymorphism

DCHQ

dichlorohydroquinone

TCP

trichlorophenol

DCP

dichlorophenol

TCBQ

trichlorobenzoquinone

TCHQ

tetrachlorohydroquinone

GSH

glutathione

Notes

Acknowledgement

Metagenomic analyses reported here were supported by grant 1-R21ES012814 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald L. Crawford
    • 1
  • Carina M. Jung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janice L. Strap
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Biotechnology Institute, Food Research Center 202University of IdahoMoscowUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Toxicological ResearchU.S. Food and Drug AdministrationJeffersonUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada

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