Krishnaswamy Veenagayathri and Namasivayam Vasudevan
Phenolic compounds are carcinogenic and toxic environmental pollutants which are massively discharged to the terrestrial and marine environment from uncontrolled industrial activities. A moderately halophilic bacterial consortium was isolated from different phenol contaminated sites and marine environment, the degradation pathway followed during the degradation of phenol and 4- chlorophenol by the bacterial consortium was investigated. During the degradation of phenol it was found that only catechol 1, 2 dioxygenase activity was pronounced with a maximum specific activity of 0.425μm/min/mg of the protein showing the ortho- cleavage pathway at pH 7. In the degradation of 4- chlorophenol it was found that only catechol 2,3 dioxygenase activity was pronounced with a maximum specific activity of 0.412 μm/min/mg of the protein at pH 7 showing the consortium followed metacleavage pathway during the degradation of the substrate. The cell free extracts of bacterial consortium showed cis-cis muconic acid as the intermediate metabolite during the degradation of phenol and 4- chlorocatechol and 5-chloro-2-hydroxymuconate as intermediates during the degradation of 4- chlorophenol, which proved that the moderately halophilic bacterial consortium followed orthocleavage on phenol degradation and meta-cleavage during the degradation of 4-chlorophenol.
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