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Degradation of Phthalate Esters by Fusarium sp. DMT-5-3 and Trichosporon sp. DMI-5-1 Isolated from Mangrove Sediments

  • Zhu-Hua Luo
  • Ka-Lai Pang
  • Yi-Rui Wu
  • Ji-Dong Gu
  • Raymond K. K. Chow
  • L. L. P. Vrijmoed
Chapter
Part of the Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology book series (PMSB, volume 53)

Abstract

Phthalate esters (PAEs) are important industrial compounds mainly used as plasticizers to increase flexibility and softness of plastic products. PAEs are of major concern because of their widespread use, ubiquity in the environment, and endocrine-disrupting toxicity. In this study, two fungal strains, Fusarium sp. DMT-5-3 and Trichosporon sp. DMI-5-1 which had the capability to degrade dimethyl phthalate esters (DMPEs), were isolated from mangrove sediments in the Futian Nature Reserve of Shenzhen, China, by enrichment culture technique. These fungi were identified on the basis of spore morphology and molecular typing using 18S rDNA sequence. Comparative investigations on the biodegradation of three isomers of DMPEs, namely dimethyl phthalate (DMP), dimethyl isophthalate (DMI), and dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), were carried out with these two fungi. It was found that both fungi could not completely mineralize DMPEs but transform them to the respective monomethyl phthalate or phthalate acid. Biochemical degradation pathways for different DMPE isomers by both fungi were different. Both fungi could transform DMT to monomethyl terephthalate (MMT) and further to terephthalic acid (TA) by stepwise hydrolysis of two ester bonds. However, they could only carry out one-step ester hydrolysis to transform DMI to monomethyl isophthalate (MMI). Further metabolism of MMI did not proceed. Only Trichosporon sp. was able to transform DMP to monomethyl phthalate (MMP) but not Fusarium sp. The optimal pH for DMI and DMT degradation by Fusarium sp. was 6.0 and 4.5, respectively, whereas for Trichosporon sp., the optimal pH for the degradation of all the three DMPE isomers was at 6.0. These results suggest that the fungal esterases responsible for hydrolysis of the two ester bonds of PAEs are highly substrate specific.

Keywords

Mineral Salt Medium Phthalic Acid Terephthalic Acid Phthalate Ester Mangrove Sediment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was substantially supported by grants from City University of Hong Kong (Project No. 7002220 and 9610037), the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. CA04/05. SC01), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 41006099), which are gratefully acknowledged. The authors would also like to thank Ms Jessie Lai of The University of Hong Kong and Miss Alice Chan of City University of Hong Kong for technical support in HPLC analysis.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhu-Hua Luo
    • 1
  • Ka-Lai Pang
    • 2
  • Yi-Rui Wu
    • 3
  • Ji-Dong Gu
    • 4
  • Raymond K. K. Chow
    • 5
  • L. L. P. Vrijmoed
    • 5
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Biogenetic ResourcesThird Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic AdministrationXiamenPR China
  2. 2.Institute of Marine BiologyNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityKeelungTaiwan ROC
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.School of Biological SciencesThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARPR China
  5. 5.Department of Biology and ChemistryCity University of Hong KongHong Kong SARPR China

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