Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 170, Issue 2, pp 381–398 | Cite as

Isolation of Biphenyl and Polychlorinated Biphenyl-Degrading Bacteria and Their Degradation Pathway



Four strains of biphenyl-degrading bacteria were isolated from a sewage and identified from the Rhodococcus genus (SK-1, SK-3, and SK-4) and Aquamicrobium genus (SK-2) by 16S rRNA sequence. Among these strains, strain SK-2 was most suitable for biphenyl degradation. When 0.65, 1.3, 2.6, or 3.9 mM of biphenyl was used, the biphenyl was completely degraded within 24 and 96 h of culture, respectively. However, in the case of 6.5 and 9.75 mM of biphenyl, the biphenyl degradation yields were about 80 % and 46.7 % after 120 h of culture, respectively. The isolated strains could degrade a broad spectrum of aromatic compounds including high-chlorinated polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in the presence of biphenyl. In addition, strain SK-2 could utilize PCB congeners containing one to six chlorine substituents such as 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-hexachlorobiphenyl. The PCB utilization rate by the strain SK-2 was increased compared to that of other PCB congener-utilizing bacteria. The four isolates metabolized 4-chlorobiphenyl to 4-chlorobenzoic acid and 2-hydroxy-6-oxo-6-(4′-chlorophenyl)-hexa-2,4-dienoic acid. These results suggest the isolated strains might be good candidates for the bioremediation of PCB-contaminated soil, especially high-saline soils.


Biphenyl Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) Biphenyl-degrading mechanism Rhodococcus genus Aquamicrobium genus 


  1. 1.
    Pieper, D. H. (2005). Aerobic degradation of polychlorinated biphenyls. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 67, 170–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Takashi, H., Mitsuhiro, W., & Kenichiro, N. (2008). Concentration and characteristics of polychlorinated biphenyls in the sediments of sea and river in Nagasaki Prefecture. Japan Journal of Health Science, 54, 400–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hiroki, M. (2012). Current situation and issues of the industrial waste governance. Journal of Environmental Conservation Engineering, 41, 33–38.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Liu, W. X., Chen, J. L., Hu, J., Ling, X., & Tao, S. (2008). Multi-residues of organic pollutants in surface sediments from littoral areas of the Yellow Sea. Chinese Marine Pollution Bulletin, 56, 1091–1103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Furukawa, K., & Matsumura, F. (1976). Microbial metabolism of polychlorinated biphenyls-studies on relative degradability of polychlorinated biphenyl components by Alcaligenes sp. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 24, 251–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Unterman, R., Bedard, D. L., Brennan, M. J., Bopp, L. H., Mondello, F. J., Books, R. E., et al. (1988). Environmental biotechnology: reducing risks from environmental chemicals through biotechnology (pp. 253–269). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hatamian-Zarmi, A., Shojaosadati, S. A., Vasheghani-Farahani, E., Hosseinkhani, S., & Emamzadeh, A. (2009). Extensive biodegradation of highly chlorinated biphenyl and Aroclor 1242 by Pseudomonas aeruginosa TMU56 isolated from contaminated soils. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 63, 788–794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Abdughafurovich, R. B., Andreevich, K. A., Lorenz Adrian, L., & Tashpulatovich, Y. K. (2010). Biodegradation of tritium labeled polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by local salt tolerant mesophylic Bacillus Strains. Journal of Environmental Protection, 1, 420–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wittich, R. M., & Wolff, P. (2007). Growth of the genetically engineered strain Cupriavidus necator RW112 with chlorobenzoates and technical chlorobiphenyls. Microbiology, 153, 186–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kargi, F., & Dincer, A. R. (1999). Salt inhibition of nitrification and denitrification in saline wastewater. Environmental Technology, 20, 1147–1153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Abramowicz, D. A. (1990). Aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation of PCBs. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 10, 241–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jaysankar, D., Ramaiah, N., & Sarkar, A. (2006). Aerobic degradation of highly chlorinated polychlorobiphenyls by a marine bacterium, Pseudomonas CH07. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 22, 1321–1327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Davidova, I., Hicks, M. S., Fedorak, P. M., & Suflita, J. M. (2001). The influence of nitrate on microbial processes in oil industry production waters. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 27, 80–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Russo, R. C. (1985). Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. In G. M. Rand & S. R. Petrocelli (Eds.), Fundamentals of aquatic toxicology (pp. 455–471). Washington DC, USA: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kim, P. J., Chang, K. W., & Min, K. H. (1995). Evaluation of the stability of compost made from food wastes by the fermenting tank. Journal of KOWREC, 3, 35–42.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chang, Y. C., Ikeutsu, K., Toyama, T., Choi, D. B., & Kikuchi, S. (2011). Isolation and characterization of tetrachloroethylene and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene-dechlorinating propionibacteria. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 38, 1667–1677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Martínková, L., Uhnáková, B., Pátek, M., Nešvera, J., & Křen, V. (2009). Biodegradation potential of the genus Rhodococcus. Environment International, 35, 162–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yam, K. C., Van der Geize, R., & Eltis, L. D. (2010). Catabolism of aromatic compounds and steroids by Rhodococcus. Microbiology Monographs, 16, 133–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nozaki, M., Kagamitama, H., & Hayaishi, O. (1963). Metapyrocatechase. I. Purification, crystallization and some properties. Biochem Z journal, 38, 582–590.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Furukawa, K., Simon, J. R., & Chakrabarty, A. M. (1983). Common induction and regulation of biphenyl, xylene/toluene, and salicylate catabolism in Pseudomonas paucimobilis. Journal of Bacteriology, 154, 1356–1362.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Furukawa, K., & Fujihara, H. (2008). Microbial degradation of polychlorinated biphenyls: biochemical and molecular features. Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, 105, 433–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Seto, M., Kimbara, K., Shimura, M., Hatta, T., Fukuda, M., & Yano, K. (1995). A novel transformation of polychlorinated biphenyls by Rhodococcus sp. strain RHA1. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 61, 3353–3358.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Adebusoye, S. A., Picardal, F. W., Ilori, M. O., & Amund, O. O. (2008). Evidence of aerobic utilization of di-ortho-substituted trichlorobiphenyls as growth substrates by Pseudomonas sp. SA-6 and Ralstonia sp. SA-4. Environmental Microbiology, 10, 1165–1174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sakai, M., Ezaki, S., Suzuki, N., & Kurane, R. (2005). Isolation and characterization of a novel polychlorinated biphenyl-degrading bacterium, Paenibacillus sp. KBC101. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 68, 111–116.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim, S. G., & Picardal, F. (2001). Microbial growth on dichlorobiphenyls chlorinated on both ring as a sole carbon and energy source. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67, 1953–1955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tu, C., Teng, Y., Luo, Y., Li, X., Sun, X., Li, Z., et al. (2011). Potential for biodegradation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by Sinorhizobium meliloti. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 186, 1438–1444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ahmad, D., Sylvestre, M., Sondossi, M., & Massé, R. (1991). Bioconversion of 2-hydroxy-6-oxo-6-(4’-chlorophenyl) hexa-2,4-dienoic acid, the meta-cleavage product of 4-chlorobiphenyl. Journal of General Microbiology, 137, 1375–1385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Massé, R., Messier, F., Ayotte, C., Lévesque, M. F., & Sylvestre, M. (1989). A comprehensive gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric analysis of 4-chlorobiphenyl bacterial degradation products. Biomedical & Environmental Mass Spectrometry, 18, 27–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Applied Sciences, College of Environmental Technology, Graduate School of EngineeringMuroran Institute of TechnologyMuroranJapan
  2. 2.Biotechnology LabBK Company R&D CenterJeonbukRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacy, College of PharmacyChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Research, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medical and EngineeringUniversity of YamanashiKofuJapan

Personalised recommendations