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Comparative studies of phenotypic and genetic characteristics between two desulfurizing isolates of Rhodococcus erythropolis and the well-characterized R. erythropolis strain IGTS8

Santos, Silvia C. C., Alviano, Daniela S., Alviano, Celuta S., Goulart, Fátima R. V., de Pádula, Marcelo, Leitão, Álvaro C., Martins, Orlando B., Ribeiro, Claudia M. S., Sassaki, Mônica Y. M., Matta, Carla P. S., Bevilaqua, Juliana, Sebastián, Gina V., Seldin, Lucy
Journal of industrial microbiology & biotechnology 2007 v.34 no.6 pp. 423-431
Rhodococcus erythropolis, biorefining, genes, microorganisms, mutagenicity, nitrogen, petroleum, plasmids, polymerase chain reaction, quinoline, sulfur
Two Rhodococcus erythropolis isolates, named A66 and A69, together with the well-characterized R. erythropolis strain IGTS8 were compared biochemically and genetically. Both isolates, like strain IGTS8, desulfurized DBT to 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2-HBP), following the 4S pathway of desulfurization. Strain IGTS8 showed the highest (81.5%) desulfurization activity in a medium containing DBT at 30 °C. Strain A66 showed approximately the same desulfurization activity either when incubated at 30 °C or at 37 °C, while strain A69 showed an increase of desulfurization efficiency (up to 79%) when incubated at 37 °C. Strains A66 and A69 were also able to grow using various organosulfur or organonitrogen-compounds as the sole sulfur or nitrogen sources. The biological responses of A66, A69 and IGTS8 strains to a series of mutagens and environmental agents were evaluated, trying to mimic actual circumstances involved in exposure/handling of microorganisms during petroleum biorefining. The results showed that strains A69 and IGTS8 were much more resistant to UVC treatment than A66. The three desulfurization genes (dszA, dszB and dszC) present in strains A66 and A69 were partially characterized. They seem to be located on a plasmid, not only in the strain IGTS8, but also in A66 and A69. PCR amplification was observed using specific primers for dsz genes in all the strains tested; however, no amplification product was observed using primers for carbazole (car) or quinoline (qor) metabolisms. All this information contributes to broaden our knowledge concerning both the desulfurization of DBT and the degradation of organonitrogen compounds within the R. erythropolis species.