Isolation and characterization of a Rhodococcus species strain able to grow on ortho- and para-xylene

Yeon Jang Jung, Dockyu Kim, Won Bae Hyun, Young Choi Ki, Jong Chan Chae, Gerben J. Zylstra, Min Kim Young, Eungbin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Rhodococcus sp. strain YU6 was isolated from soil for the ability to grow on o-xylene as the sole carbon and energy source. Unlike most other o-xylene-degrading bacteria, YU6 is able to grow on p-xylene. Numerous growth substrate range experiments, in addition to the ring-cleavage enzyme assay data, suggest that YU6 initially metabolizes o- and p-xylene by direct aromatic ring oxidation. This leads to the formation of dimethylcatechols, which was further degraded largely through meta-cleavage pathway. The gene encoding meta-cleavage dioxygenase enzyme was PCR cloned from genomic YU6 DNA using previously known gene sequence data from the o-xylene-degrading Rhodococcus sp. strain DK17. Subsequent sequencing of the 918-bp PCR product revealed a 98% identity to the gene, encoding methylcatechol 2,3-dioxygenase from DK17. PFGE analysis followed by Southern hybridization with the catechol 2,3-dioxygenase gene demonstrated that the gene is located on an approximately 560-kb megaplasmid, designated pJYJ1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


  • Catechol 2,3-dioxygenase
  • Megaplasmid
  • Rhodococcus
  • Xylene isomers


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