Benz[a]anthracene biotransformation and production of ring fission products by Sphingobium sp. strain KK22

Marie Kunihiro, Yasuhiro Ozeki, Yuichi Nogi, Natsuko Hamamura, Robert A. Kanaly

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40 Citations (Scopus)


A soil bacterium, designated strain KK22, was isolated from a phenanthrene enrichment culture of a bacterial consortium that grew on diesel fuel, and it was found to biotransform the persistent environmental pollutant and high-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) benz[a]anthracene. nearly complete sequencing of the 16s rRNA gene of strain KK22 and phylogenetic analysis revealed that this organism is a new member of the genus sphingobium. an 8-day time course study that consisted of whole-culture extractions followed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses with fluorescence detection showed that 80 to 90% biodegradation of 2.5 mg liter-1 benz[a]anthracene had occurred. biodegradation assays where benz[a]anthracene was supplied in crystalline form (100 mg liter-1) confirmed biodegradation and showed that strain KK22 cells precultured on glucose were equally capable of benz[a]anthracene biotransformation when precultured on glucose plus phenanthrene. analyses of organic extracts from benz[a]anthracene biodegradation by liquid chromatography negative electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry [LC/ESI(-)-MS/MS] revealed 10 products, including two o-hydroxypolyaromatic acids and two hydroxy-naphthoic acids. 1-hydroxy-2- and 2-hydroxy-3-naphthoic acids were unambiguously identified, and this indicated that oxidation of the benz[a]anthracene molecule occurred via both the linear kata and angular kata ends of the molecule. other two- and single-aromatic-ring metabolites were also documented, including 3-(2-carboxyvinyl)naphthalene-2- carboxylic acid and salicylic acid, and the proposed pathways for benz[a]anthracene biotransformation by a bacterium were extended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4410-4420
Number of pages11
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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