The aerobic biodegradation of alpha-hexachlorocyclohexane (alpha-HCH) was studied in slurries of polluted soil. A bacterium which grows on alpha-HCH as sole carbon and energy source was isolated after enrichment. It was tentatively identified as Pseudomonas vesicularis. The organism grows on alpha-HCH with a mean generation time of about 6 hours. The substrate yield coefficient was about 60 g dry weight per mol of alpha-HCH. Growth, expressed as protein increase, was associated with the release of chloride ions, the decrease of alpha-HCH, and oxygen consumption. Fifty % of the carbon in alpha-HCH could be recovered as CO2. These results suggest a complete mineralization of alpha-HCH. The maximum rate of biodegradation of alpha-HCH observed (1.35 mg.liter-1.minute-1) in comparison with its low solubility in water (about 5 mg.liter-1) indicate a high rate of solubilization of alpha-HCH in the culture medium. Inoculation of slurries of polluted soil with the isolated bacterium enhanced the rate of dechlorination.
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- Biodegradation of Alpha-Hexachlorocyclohexane by a Bacterium Isolated from Polluted Soil
J. L. Maurice Huntjens
Alexander J. B. Zehnder
- Springer Netherlands
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