Profile of a Nonylphenol-Degrading Microflora and Its Protential for Bioremedial Applications^1

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Nonylphenol (NP) is an important intermediate in the production of various commercial and industrial materials, but is also known as a ubiquitous pollutant in urban aquatic environments. We recently studied the NP-degrading activities of microflora in several aquatic environments, and found a notable degrading activity for wastewater from a sewage treatment plant in Tokyo. This result led us to isolate NP-degrading microbes and identify biodegradation products. Using conventional plate culture techniques and molecular biological methods, <i>Pseudomonas</i> and <i>Sphingomonas</i> species, which are known for their degradation activities of many aromatic compounds, have been isolated. But it has also been found that <i>Sphingomonas</i> sp. (S-strain) is necessary and sufficient for the degradation of NP. Although the role of <i>Pseudomonas</i> sp. (P-strain) remains unclear, P-strain seems to provide some co-nutrients for the growth of S-strain. The degradation products were analyzed by GC/MS and NMR. More than 95% of NP was degraded within 10 days and aromatic compounds other than NP were not found, suggesting that the phenolic part of NP was completely degraded. We also examined the potential of S-strain for bioremedial applications. S-strain cells immobilized on chitosan or alginate beads retain their NP-degrading activity in flask-scale experiments. Furthermore, the chitosan-bound cells in a lab-scale bioreactor have been found to be persistent for repeated use, suggesting that S-strain is applicable to the treatment of NP-contaminated wastewater.


  • The Journal of Biochemistry

    The Journal of Biochemistry 128(6), 909-916, 2000-12-01

    The Japanese Biochemical Society

References:  49

Cited by:  10


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