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Antibiotic sulfanilamide biodegradation by acclimated microbial populations

Liao, Xiaobin, Li, Bingxin, Zou, Rusen, Xie, Shuguang, Yuan, Baoling
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2016 v.100 no.5 pp. 2439-2447
Firmicutes, antibiotics, bacterial communities, benzene, biodegradation, carbon, hydroxylamine, mixed culture, nitrogen, phylogeny, sulfanilamide, temperature
Sulfonamide antibiotics are commonly detected in the environment. Microbial degradation can play an important role in the dissipation of sulfonamide antibiotics. However, many aspects regarding the influential factor and biodegradation pathway remain essentially unclear. Moreover, phylogenetic information on the sulfonamide-degrading microbial community is still very limited. The present study investigated the biodegradation of sulfonamide antibiotic sulfanilamide by acclimated mixed culture and its influential factors, and the sulfanilamide-degrading microbial community. At the initial sulfanilamide concentration of 100 μg/L, nearly half of the antibiotic could be removed by acclimated microbial populations after 1 week of incubation, and an average removal rate of 78.3 % could be achieved in 4 weeks. p-Phenylenediamine, benzene sulfonamide, and hydroxylamine benzene sulfonamide were identified as the potential intermediates. Sulfanilamide biodegradation could be enhanced by a temperature rise and the presence of external carbon or nitrogen sources. The richness, diversity, and structure of the bacterial community showed a remarkable change with sulfanilamide biodegradation. Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes (mainly represented by classes Bacilli and Flavobacteriia) dominated the sulfanilamide-degrading bacterial community.