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Degradation of Chlorobenzenes at Nanomolar Concentrations by Burkholderia sp. Strain PS14 in Liquid Cultures and in Soil

  • Peter Rapp
  • Kenneth N. Timmis
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1999


The utilization of 1,2,4,5-tetrachloro-, 1,2,4-trichloro-, the three isomeric dichlorobenzenes and fructose as the sole carbon and energy sources at nanomolar concentrations was studied in batch experiments with Burkholderia sp. strain PS14. In liquid culture, all chlorobenzenes were metabolized within 1 h from their initial concentration of 500 nM to below their detection limits of 0.5 nM for 1,2,4,5-tetrachloro- and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene and 7.5 nM for the three dichlorobenzene isomers, with 63% mineralization of the tetra- and trichloroisomers. Fructose at the same initial concentration was, in contrast, metabolized over a 4-h incubation period down to a residual concentration of approximately 125 nM with 38% mineralization during this time. In soil microcosms, Burkholderia sp. strain PS14 metabolized tetrachlorobenzene present at 64.8 ppb and trichlorobenzene present at 54.4 ppb over a 72-h incubation period to below the detection limits of 0.108 and 0.09 ppb, respectively, with approximately 80% mineralization. A high sorptive capacity of Burkholderia sp. strain PS14 for 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene was found at very low cell density. The results demonstrate that Burkholderia sp. strain PS14 exhibits a very high affinity for chlorobenzenes at nanomolar concentrations.

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