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Novel alkylsulfatases required for biodegradation of the branched primary alkyl sulfate surfactant 2-butyloctyl sulfate

Ellis, Andrew J., Hales, Stephen G., Ur-Rehman, Naheed G. A. and White, Graham Francis 2002. Novel alkylsulfatases required for biodegradation of the branched primary alkyl sulfate surfactant 2-butyloctyl sulfate. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 68 (1) , pp. 31-36. 10.1128/AEM.68.1.31-36.2002

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Recent reports show that contrary to common perception, branched alkyl sulfate surfactants are readily biodegradable in standard biodegradability tests. We report here the isolation of bacteria capable of biodegrading 2-butyloctyl sulfate and the identification of novel enzymes that initiate the process. Enrichment culturing from activated sewage sludge yielded several strains capable of growth on 2-butyloctyl sulfate. Of these, two were selected for further study and identified as members of the genus Pseudomonas. Strain AE-A was able to utilize either sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) or 2-butyloctyl sulfate as a carbon and energy source for growth, but strain AE-D utilized only the latter. Depending on growth conditions, strain AE-A produced up to three alkylsulfatases, as shown by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis zymography. Growth on either SDS or 2-butyloctyl sulfate or in nutrient broth produced an apparently constitutive, nonspecific primary alkylsulfatase, AP1, weakly active on SDS and on 2-butyloctyl sulfate. Growth on 2-butyloctyl sulfate produced a second enzyme, AP2, active on 2-butyloctyl sulfate but not on SDS, and growth on SDS produced a third enzyme, AP3, active on SDS but not on 2-butyloctyl sulfate. In contrast, strain AE-D, when grown on 2-butyloctyl sulfate (no growth on SDS), produced a single enzyme, DP1, active on 2-butyloctyl sulfate but not on SDS. DP1 was not produced in broth cultures. DP1 was induced when residual 2-butyloctyl sulfate was present in the growth medium, but the enzyme disappeared when the substrate was exhausted. Gas chromatographic analysis of products of incubating 2-butyloctyl sulfate with DP1 in gels revealed the formation of 2-butyloctanol, showing the enzyme to be a true sulfatase. In contrast, Pseudomonas sp. strain C12B, well known for its ability to degrade linear SDS, was unable to grow on 2-butyloctyl sulfate, and its alkylsulfatases responsible for initiating the degradation of SDS by releasing the parent alcohol exhibited no hydrolytic activity on 2-butyloctyl sulfate. DP1 and the analogous AP2 are thus new alkylsulfatase enzymes with novel specificity toward 2-butyloctyl sulfate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
ISSN: 0099-2240
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 08:47

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