p-Cresol biodegradation under denitrifying conditions: isolation of a bacterial coculture

I. D. Bossert, M. D. Rivera, L. Y. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


From polluted river sediment, two bacterial species were isolated which utilized p-cresol as the sole source of carbon when grown in coculture under nitrate-reducing conditions. One species, PC-07, metabolized p-cresol (pCr) anaerobically to p-hydroxybenzoate (pOHB), which in turn was further metabolized by the second isolate, PB-04. The PC-07 isolate was unable to degrade and utilize pOHB, and PB-04 was unable to utilize pCr, thereby demonstrating a syntrophic relationship for pCr utilization under anaerobic conditions. Nitrate served as external electron acceptor for both microorganisms under anaerobic conditions and was reduced via NO2- and N2O to N2. pCr, therefore, appears to be metabolized to ring fission products via the formation of pOHB under nitrate reducing conditions, with the metabolism being mediated by a 2-member microbiol food chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


  • Nitrate reduction
  • anaerobic metabolism
  • microbial food chain
  • p-cresol
  • p-hydroxybenzoate
  • syntrophy


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