Methanol suppression of trichloroethylene degradation by Methylosinus trichosporium (OB3b) and methane-oxidizing mixed cultures.

Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996.
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 1.69). 02/1991; 28-29:887-99. DOI: 10.1007/BF02922658
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The effect of methanol on trichloroethylene (TCE) degradation by mixed and pure methylotrophic cultures was examined in batch culture experiments. Methanol was found to relieve growth inhibition of Methylosinus trichosporium (OB3b) at high (14 mg/L) TCE concentrations. Degradation of TCE was determined by both radiolabeling and gas chromatography techniques. When cultures were grown on methanol over 10 to 14 d with 0.3 mg/L TCE, OB3b degraded 16.89 +/- 0.82% (mean +/- SD) of the TCE, and a mixed culture (DT type II) degraded 4.55 +/- 0.11%. Mixed culture (JS type I) degraded 4.34 +/- 0.06% of the TCE. When grown on methane with 0.3 mg/L TCE, 32.93 +/- 2.01% of the TCE was degraded by OB3b, whereas the JS culture degraded 24.3 +/- 1.38% of the TCE, and the DT culture degraded 34.3 +/- 2.97% of the TCE. The addition of methanol to cultures grown on methane reduced TCE degradation to 16.21 +/- 1.17% for OB3b and to 5.08 +/- 0.56% for JS. Although methanol reduces the toxicity of TCE to the cultures, biodegradation of TCE cannot be sustained in methanol-grown cultures. Since high TCE concentrations appear to inhibit methane uptake and growth, we suggest the primary toxicity of TCE is directed towards the methane monooxygenase.

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