Bioconversion of toxic micropollutant triclosan to 2,4-dichlorophenol using a wastewater isolate Pseudomonas aeruginosa KS2002


Triclosan, a commonly available pesticide, has emerged as a ubiquitous pollutant posing a major threat to the environment. Here we have isolated a wastewater microorganism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa KS2002, capable of converting triclosan to 2,4-dichlorophenol within 96 h of incubation. The confirmation of the end product was done using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy. Different minimal media were investigated to establish a suitable media supporting maximum triclosan degradation. Spectral analysis showed that this bacterial isolate degraded 99.89% ± 0.3 of 2 g/L of triclosan spiked in an M9 minimal salt medium. This isolate utilized fructose and glycerol as a co-substrate to enhance degradation process. The cell-free extract of Pseudomonas aeruginosa KS2002 showed the activity of catechol 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme (specific enzyme activity = 0.161 U/mg). In the presence of 3-fluorocatechol, a meta-cleavage enzyme inhibitor, triclosan degradation was ceased suggesting a meta-cleavage pathway for triclosan degradation. Keeping in view the observations recorded, we proposed a pathway for partial triclosan degradation using this isolate.

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The authors are extremely thankful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (Scheme No. 24(0340)/16/EMR-II) for providing financial assistance for the research work. We would also like to acknowledge Department of Bio-Engineering and Central Instrumentation Facility (CIF) at Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, for providing us with the infrastructure to conduct our research work.

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Correspondence to S. Ghosh Sachan.

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Kumari, R., Ghosh Sachan, S. Bioconversion of toxic micropollutant triclosan to 2,4-dichlorophenol using a wastewater isolate Pseudomonas aeruginosa KS2002. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 16, 7663–7672 (2019).

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  • Catechol 2,3-dioxygenase
  • 3-fluorocatechol
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Meta-cleavage