The degradation of biphenyl and chlorobiphenyls by mixed bacterial cultures

Sisko Kilpi (Corresponding Author), Kimmo Himberg, Kim Yrjölä, Viveka Backström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudomonas sp. HV3 grows on naphthalene but not on biphenyl, as the sole source of carbon. When the cells of Pseudomonas sp. HV3 grown on naphthalene were shaken with biphenyl as the carbon source in a mineral salt solution, a yellow metabolite identified as the meta-cleavage product of biphenyl was excreted. The degradation of biphenyl stopped here, but was completed if either 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy acetic acid (MCPA)-degrading mixed culture or a Nocardia strain was added to the growth solution. Neither of these uses naphthalene or biphenyl as growth substrate. The mixed culture of Pseudomonas sp. HV3 and Nocardia sp. also degrades the commercial polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture Aroclor 1221. A yellow metabolite was likewise produced in the degradation, and sometimes two different peaks of the yellow metabolite were observed. The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses showed that 40–87% of Aroclor 1221 was degraded during an incubation time of 6–21 days. Chlorobenzoic acids were found as metabolites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1988
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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