Analysis of the bacterial population of soil surface samples from a creosote-contaminated site showed that up to 50% of the culturable micro-organisms detected were able to utilise a mixture of cresols. From fifty different microbial isolates fourteen that could utilise more than one cresol isomer were selected and identified by 16S rRNA analysis. Eight isolates were Rhodococcus strains and six were Pseudomonas strains. In general, the Rhodococcus strains exhibited a broader growth substrate range than the Pseudomonas strains. The distribution of various extradiol dioxygenase (edo) genes, previously associated with aromatic compound degradation in rhodococci, was determined for the Rhodococcus strains by PCR detection and Southern-blot hybridization. One strain, Rhodococcus sp. I1 exhibited the broadest growth substrate range and possessed five different edo genes. Gene disruption experiments indicated that two genes (edoC and edoD) were associated with isopropylbenzene and naphthalene catabolism respectively. The other Rhodococcus strains also possessed some of the edo genes and one (edoB) was present in all of the Rhodococcus strains analysed. None of the rhodococcal edo genes analysed were present in the Pseudomonas strains isolated from the site. It was concluded that individual strains of Rhodococcus possess a wide degradative ability and may be very important in the degradation of complex mixtures of substrates found in creosote.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||International J. Of General & Molecular Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|