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Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 15, Issue 2–3, pp 171–176 | Cite as

Extracellular degradation of phenol by the cyanobacterium Synechococcus PCC 7002

  • M. Wurster
  • S. Mundt
  • E. Hammer
  • F. Schauer
  • U. Lindequist
Article

Abstract

Investigations of the unicellular marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus PCC 7002 revealed its ability to metabolize phenol under non-photosynthetic conditions up to 100 mg L−1. Under continuous light, photoautotrophic growth was reduced only slightly in the presence of this phenol concentration, but no transformation was observed. However neither under photoautotrophic nor heterotrophic conditions were the cells able to use phenol for growth. During the degradation of phenol in the dark cis,cis-muconic acid was produced as the major product, which was identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. This result was confirmed by an identical absorption spectrum and an identical retention time in high performance liquid chromatographic analysis with authentic muconic acid as standard. This provides the first record for an ortho-fission of a phenolic substance by cyanobacteria. Further investigations of the breakdown mechanism of phenol have shown that the transformation is an extracellular process inhibited by heat, proteases and metal ions and is probably catalyzed by a protein.

Aromatic ring-fission Biodegradation Cyanobacteria Extracellular Muconic acid Phenol Synechococcus 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Wurster
    • 1
  • S. Mundt
    • 1
  • E. Hammer
    • 2
  • F. Schauer
    • 2
  • U. Lindequist
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical BiologyErnst-Moritz-Arndt-UniversityGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Microbiology and Molecular BiologyErnst-Moritz-Arndt-UniversityGreifswaldGermany

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