Degradation of 4-nitrophenol, 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol, and 2,4-dinitrophenol by Rhodococcus imtechensis strain RKJ300

Anuradha Ghosh, Meenu Khurana, Archana Chauhan, Masahiro Takeo, Asit K Chakraborti, Rakesh K Jain
Environmental Science & Technology 2010 February 1, 44 (3): 1069-77
A bacterial strain Rhodococcus imtechensis RKJ300 (= MTCC 7085(T) = JCM 13270(T)) was isolated from pesticide-contaminated soil of Punjab by the enrichment technique on minimal medium containing 4-nitrophenol. Strain RKJ300 is capable of utilizing 4-nitrophenol, 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol, and 2,4-dinitrophenol as sole sources of carbon and energy. The strain involved both oxidative and reductive catabolic mechanisms for initial transformation of these compounds. In the case of 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol, colorimetric analysis indicated that nitrite release was followed by stoichiometric elimination of chloride ions. Experiments using whole cells and cell-free extracts showed chlorohydroquinone and hydroquinone as the intermediates of 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol degradation. This is the first report of degradation on 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol by a bacterium under aerobic condition to the best of our knowledge. However, pathways for degradation of 4-nitrophenol and 2,4-dinitrophenol were similar to those reported in other strains of Rhodococcus. Laboratory-scale soil microcosm studies demonstrated that the organism was capable of degrading a mixture of nitrophenols simultaneously, indicating its applicability toward in situ bioremediation of contaminated sites. The fate of the augmented strain as monitored by the plate-counting method and hybridization technique was found to be fairly stable throughout the period of microcosm experiments.

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