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Preferential desulfurization of dibenzyl sulfide by an isolated Gordonia sp. IITR100

Ahmad, Abrar, Chauhan, Ashok Kumar, Kushwaha, Hari Narayan, Javed, Saleem, Kumar, Ashwani
3 Biotech 2015 v.5 no.3 pp. 237-243
Escherichia coli, benzoic acid, desulfurization, metabolites, models, organic sulfur compounds, petroleum, sulfides
Several organosulfur compounds are present in the crude oil, and are required to be removed before its processing into transport fuel. For this reason, biodesulfurization of thiophenic compounds has been studied extensively. However, studies on the sulfide compounds are scarce. In this paper, we describe desulfurization of a model sulfidic compound, dibenzyl sulfide (DBS) by an isolated Gordonia sp. IITR100. The reaction was accompanied with the formation of metabolites dibenzyl sulfoxide, dibenzyl sulfone and benzoic acid. Studies with recombinant E. coli revealed that enzyme DszC of this isolate metabolizes DBS into dibenzyl sulfoxide and dibenzyl sulfone, but the reaction downstream to it is mediated by some enzyme other than its DszA. In reactions where DBS and dibenzothiophene (DBT) were present together, both IITR100 and recombinant E. coli exhibited preference for the desulfurization of DBS over DBT. The newly identified capability of IITR100 for desulfurization of both thiophenic and sulfidic compounds suggests its potential use in improved desulfurization of petroleum fractions.