Characterization of a soil-derived bacterial consortium degrading 4-chloroaniline

Helia Radianingtyas, Gary K. Robinson, Alan T. Bull

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53 Citations (Scopus)


A bacterial consortium comprising four different species was isolated from an Indonesian agricultural soil using a mixture of aniline and 4-chloroaniline (4CA) as principal carbon sources. The four species were identified as Chryseobacterium indologenes SB1, Comamonas testosteroni SB2, Pseudomonas corrugata SB4 and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia SB5. Growth studies on aniline and 4CA as single and mixed substrates demonstrated that the bacteria preferred to grow on and utilize aniline rather than 4CA, although both compounds were eventually depleted from the culture supernatant. However, despite 100% disappearance of the parent substrates, the degradation of 4CA was always characterized by incomplete dechlorination and 4-chlorocatechol accumulation. This result suggests that further degradation of 4-chlorocatechol may be the rate-limiting step in the metabolism of 4CA by the bacterial consortium. HPLC-UV analysis showed that 4-chlorocatechol was further degraded via an ortho-cleavage pathway by the bacterial consortium. This hypothesis was supported by the results from enzyme assays of the crude cell extract of the consortium revealing catechol 1,2-dioxygenase activity which converted catechol and 4-chlorocatechol to cis,cis-muconic acid and 3-chloro-cis,cis-muconic acid respectively. However, the enzyme had a much higher conversion rate for catechol [156 U (g protein)-1] than for 4-chlorocatechol [17.2 U (g protein)-1], indicating preference for non-chlorinated substrates. Members of the bacterial consortium were also characterized individually. All isolates were able to assimilate aniline. P. corrugata SB4 was able to grow on 4CA solely, while S. maltophilia SB5 was able to grow on 4-chlorocatechol. These results suggest that the degradation of 4CA in the presence of aniline by the bacterial consortium was a result of interspecies interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3279-3287
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


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