Isolation and characterization of an aerobic bacterial consortium able to degrade roxarsone

  • V. G. Guzmán-Fierro
  • R. Moraga
  • C. G. León
  • V. L. CamposEmail author
  • C. Smith
  • M. A. Mondaca
Original Paper


Roxarsone is an organoarsenical compound used as food additive in the poultry industry. Roxarsone has the potential risk to contaminate the environment, mainly by the use of poultry industry manure as fertilizer, releasing inorganic arsenic to the soil and water. The aim of this work was to isolate and characterize a bacterial consortium capable to degrade roxarsone under aerobic conditions. A bacterial consortium was cultured from a soil sample obtained from a field fertilized with poultry litter containing roxarsone. The consortium was cultured in the presence or absence of roxarsone. Roxarsone degradation and growth kinetics were determined by incubation of the bacterial consortium in the presence of roxarsone at room temperature and under aerobiosis. Both consortiums were characterized molecularly by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis and metabolically using Biolog Ecoplates. Inorganic arsenic was assessed by precipitation with silver nitrate. The consortium was also analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that growth rate of the bacterial consortium was 1.4-fold higher in presence of roxarsone and 81.04 % of the roxarsone was transformed after 7 days of incubation. Molecular characterization revealed the presence of different bacterial groups, being alphaproteobacteria and firmicutes the groups that showed the highest count in both consortiums. The metabolic profile of the consortium did not change in the presence of roxarsone, but it showed a greater ability to oxidize amines, suggesting production of functional amines to decrease the stability of the aromatic ring resonance energy, the principal problem associated with aromatic compounds degradation.


Roxarsone Arsenic Biotransformation Soil Bacterial consortium 



The authors acknowledge the assistance of the staff of Electron Microscopy Laboratory of the University of Concepcion, Chile. This work was supported by Grant FONDECYT 1110876 (Chile).


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. G. Guzmán-Fierro
    • 1
  • R. Moraga
    • 3
  • C. G. León
    • 1
  • V. L. Campos
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Smith
    • 2
  • M. A. Mondaca
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological ScienceUniversity of ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological ScienceUniversity of ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  3. 3.Microbiology Laboratory, Faculty of Renewable Natural ResourcesUniversity of Arturo PratIquiqueChile

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