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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Degradation of 4-chlorophenol at low temperature and during extreme temperature fluctuations by Arthrobacter chlorophenolicus A6

Backman A, Jansson JK


Low average temperatures and temperature fluctuations in temperate soils challenge the efficacy of microbial strains used for clean up of pollutants. In this study, we investigated the cold tolerance of Arthrobacter chlorophenolicus A6, a microorganism previously shown to degrade high concentrations of 4-chlorophenol at 28degreesC. Luciferase activity from a luc-tagged derivative of the strain (A6L) was used to monitor the metabolic status of the population during 4-chlorophenol degradation. The A6L strain could degrade 200-300 mug mL(-1) 4-chlorophenol in pure cultures incubated at 5degreesC, although rates of degradation, growth and the metabolic status of the cells were lower at 5degreesC compared to 28degreesC. When subjected to temperature fluctuations between 5 and 28degreesC, A6L continued to degrade 4-chlorophenol and remained active. In soil microcosm experiments, the degradation rates were significantly faster the first week at 28degreesC, compared to 5degreesC. However, this difference was no longer seen after 7 days, and equally low 4-chlorophenol concentrations were reached after 17 days at both temperatures. During 4-chlorophenol degradation in soil, CFU and luciferase activity values remained constant at both 5 and 28degreesC. However, once most of the 4-chlorophenol was degraded, both values decreased by 1-1.5 logarithmic values at 28degreesC, whereas they remained constant at 5degreesC, indicating a high survival of the cells at low temperatures. Because of the ability of A. chlorophenolicus A6 to degrade high concentrations of 4-chlorophenol at 5degreesC, together with its tolerance to temperature fluctuations and stress conditions found in soil, this strain is a promising candidate for bioaugmentation of chlorophenol-contaminated soil in temperate climates

Published in

Microbial Ecology
2004, Volume: 48, number: 2, pages: 246-253
Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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