A novel toluene-3-monooxygenase pathway cloned from Pseudomonas pickettii PKO1

R. H. Olsen, J. J. Kukor, B. Kaphammer

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Plasmid pRO 1957, which contains a 26.5-kb fragment from the chromosome of Pseudomonas pickettii PKO1, allows P. aeruginosa PAO1 to grow on toluene or benzene as a sole carbon and energy source. A subclone of pRO1957, designated pRO1966, when present in P. aeruginosa PAO1 grown in lactate-toluene medium, accumulates m-cresol in the medium, indicating that m-cresol is an intermediate of toluene catabolism. Moreover, incubation of such cells in the presence of 18O2 followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of m-cresol extracts showed that the oxygen in m-cresol was derived from molecular oxygen. Accordingly, this suggests that toluene-3-monooxygenation is the first step in the degradative pathway. Toluene-3-monooxygenase activity is positively regulated from a locus designated tbuT. Induction of the toluene-3-monooxygenase is mediated by either toluene, benzene, ethylbenzene, or m-cresol. Moreover, toluene-3-monooxygenase activity induced by these effectors also metabolizes benzene and ethylbenzene to phenol and 3- ethylphenol, respectively, and also after induction, o-xylene, m-xylene, and p-xylene are metabolized to 3,4-dimethylphenol, 2,4-dimethylphenol, and 2,5- dimethylphenol, respectively, although the xylene substrates are not effectors. Styrene and phenylacetylene are transformed into more polar products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3749-3756
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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