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Genomic characterization, kinetics, and pathways of sulfamethazine biodegradation by Paenarthrobacter sp. A01

Cao, Lijia, Zhang, Jiayu, Zhao, Renxin, Deng, Yu, Liu, Jie, Fu, Wenjie, Lei, Yusha, Zhang, Tong, Li, Xiaoyan, Li, Bing
Environment international 2019 v.131 pp. 104961
RNA, activated sludge, antibiotics, aquatic environment, bacteria, biodegradation, biotransformation, carbon, genes, genomics, logit analysis, pH, pollutants, sodium acetate, sulfamethazine, temperature
Biodegradation is an important route for the removal of sulfamethazine (SMZ), one of the most commonly used sulfonamide antibiotics, in the environment. However, little information is known about the kinetics, products, and pathways of SMZ biodegradation owing to the complexity of its enzyme-based biotransformation processes. In this study, the SMZ-degrading strain A01 belonging to the genus Paenarthrobacter was isolated from SMZ-enriched activated sludge reactors. The bacterial cells were rod-shaped with transient branches 2.50–4.00 μm in length with most forming in a V-shaped arrangement. The genome size of Paenarthrobacter sp. A01 had a total length of 4,885,005 bp with a GC content of 63.5%, and it contained 104 contigs and 55 RNAs. The effects of pH, temperature, initial substrate concentration and additional carbon source on the biodegradation of SMZ were investigated. The results indicated that pH 6.0–7.8, 25 °C and the addition of 0.2 g/L sodium acetate favored the biodegradation, whereas a high concentration of SMZ, 500 mg/L, had an inhibitory effect. The biodegradation kinetics with SMZ as the sole carbon source or 0.2 g/L sodium acetate as the co-substrate fit the modified Gompertz model well with a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.99. Three biodegradation pathways were proposed involving nine biodegradation products, among which C6H9N3O2S and C12H12N2 were two novel biodegradation products that have not been reported previously. Approximately 90.7% of SMZ was transformed to 2-amino-4, 6-dimethylpyrimidine. Furthermore, sad genes responsible for catabolizing sulfonamides were characterized in A01 with high similarities of 96.0%–100.0%. This study will fill the knowledge gap in the biodegradation of this ubiquitous micropollutant in the aquatic environment.