Delftia sp LCW, a strain isolated from a constructed wetland shows novel properties for dimethylphenol isomers degradation

Mónica A. Vásquez-Piñeros, Paula M. Martinez-Lavanchy, Nico Jehmlich, Dietmar H. Pieper, Carlos A. Rincon, Hauke Harms, Howard Junca, Hermann J. Heipieper*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Background: Dimethylphenols (DMP) are toxic compounds with high environmental mobility in water and one of the main constituents of effluents from petro- and carbochemical industry. Over the last few decades, the use of constructed wetlands (CW) has been extended from domestic to industrial wastewater treatments, including petro-carbochemical effluents. In these systems, the main role during the transformation and mineralization of organic pollutants is played by microorganisms. Therefore, understanding the bacterial degradation processes of isolated strains from CWs is an important approach to further improvements of biodegradation processes in these treatment systems.
    Results: In this study, bacterial isolation from a pilot scale constructed wetland fed with phenols led to the identification of Delftia sp. LCW as a DMP degrading strain. The strain was able to use the o-xylenols 3,4-DMP and 2,3-DMP as sole carbon and energy sources. In addition, 3,4-DMP provided as a co-substrate had an effect on the transformation of other four DMP isomers. Based on the detection of the genes, proteins, and the inferred phylogenetic relationships of the detected genes with other reported functional proteins, we found that the phenol hydroxylase of Delftia sp. LCW is induced by 3,4-DMP and it is responsible for the first oxidation of the aromatic ring of 3,4-, 2,3-, 2,4-, 2,5- and 3,5-DMP. The enzyme may also catalyze both monooxygenation reactions during the degradation of benzene. Proteome data led to the identification of catechol meta cleavage pathway enzymes during the growth on ortho DMP, and validated that cleavage of the aromatic rings of 2,5- and 3,5-DMPs does not result in mineralization. In addition, the tolerance of the strain to high concentrations of DMP, especially to 3,4-DMP was higher than that of other reported microorganisms from activated sludge treating phenols.Conclusions: LCW strain was able to degraded complex aromatics compounds. DMPs and benzene are reported for the first time to be degraded by a member of Delftia genus. In addition, LCW degraded DMPs with a first oxidation of the aromatic rings by a phenol hydroxylase, followed by a further meta cleavage pathway. The higher resistance to DMP toxicity, the ability to degrade and transform DMP isomers and the origin as a rhizosphere bacterium from wastewater systems, make LCW a suitable candidate to be used in bioremediation of complex DMP mixtures in CWs systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number108
    JournalBMC Microbiology
    Volume18
    Number of pages12
    ISSN1471-2180
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
    International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    Keywords

    • Biodegradation
    • Constructed wetlands
    • Delftia sp.
    • Phenol hydroxylase
    • Toxicity
    • Xylenols

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