Three polychlorophenol-degrading Rhodococcus and Mycobacterium strains were isolated independently from soil contaminated with chlorophenol wood preservative and from sludge of a wastewater treatment facility of a kraft pulp bleaching plant. Rhodococcus sp. strain CG-1 and Mycobacterium sp. strain CG-2, isolated from tetrachloroguaiacol enrichment, and Rhodococcus sp. strain CP-2, isolated from pentachlorophenol enrichment, mineralized pentachlorophenol and degraded several other polychlorinated phenols, guaiacols (2-methoxyphenols), and syringols (2,6-dimethoxyphenols) at micromolar concentrations and were sensitive to the toxic effects of pentachlorophenol. All three strains initiated degradation of the chlorophenols by para-hydroxylation, producing chlorinated para-hydroquinones, which were then further degraded. Parallel to degradation, strains CG-1, CG-2, and CP-2 also O-methylated nearly all chlorinated phenols, guaiacols, syringols, and hydroquinones. O-methylation of chlorophenols was a slow reaction compared with degradation. The preferred substrates of the O-methylating enzyme(s) were those with the hydroxyl group flanked by two chlorine substituents. O-methylation was constitutively expressed, whereas degradation of chlorinated phenolic compounds was inducible.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology