Identification of the hcb gene operon involved in catalysing aerobic hexachlorobenzene dechlorination in Nocardioides sp. strain PD653

Nocardioides sp. strain PD653 was the first aerobic bacterium capable of mineralising hexachlorobenzene (HCB) that was identified. In this study, strain PD653-B2, which was unexpectedly isolated from a subculture of strain PD653, was found to lack the ability to transform HCB or pentachloronitrobenzene into pentachlorophenol. Comparative genome analysis of the two strains revealed that genetic rearrangement had occurred in strain PD653-B2, with a genomic region present in strain PD653 being deleted. In silico analysis allowed three open reading frames within this region to be identified as candidate genes involved in HCB dechlorination. Assays using recombinant Escherichia coli cells revealed that an operon is responsible for both oxidative HCB dechlorination and pentachloronitrobenzene denitration. The metabolite pentachlorophenol was detected in the cultures produced in the E. coli assays. Significantly less HCB-degrading activity occurred in assays under oxygen-limited conditions ([fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][O2] < 0.5 mg L(-1)) than in aerobic assays, suggesting that monooxygenase is involved in the reaction. In this operon, hcbA1 was found to encode a monooxygenase involved in HCB dechlorination. this monooxygenase may form a complex with the flavin reductase encoded by hcbA3, increasing the HCB-degrading activity of PD653.Importance: The organochlorine fungicide HCB is widely distributed in the environment. Bioremediation can effectively remove HCB from contaminated sites, but HCB-degrading microorganisms have been isolated in few studies, and the genes involved in HCB degradation have not been identified. In this study, possible genes involved in the initial step of the mineralisation of HCB by Nocardioides sp. strain PD653 were identified. The results improve our understanding of the protein families involved in the dechlorination of HCB to give pentachlorophenol.

Authors: Ito K, Takagi K, Iwasaki A, Tanaka N, Kanesaki Y, Martin-Laurent F, Igimi S. ; Full Source: Applied Environmental Microbiology. 2017 Jul 21. pii: AEM.00824-17. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00824-17. [Epub ahead of print][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]