Anthropogenic activities have introduced elevated levels of brominated phenols to the environment. These compounds are associated with toxic and endocrine effects, and their environmental fate is of interest. An aerobic strain Ochrobactrum sp. HI1 was isolated from soils in the vicinity of a bromophenol production plant and tested for its ability to degrade 4-bromophenol (4-BP). A ring hydroxylation pathway of degradation was proposed, using the evidence from degradation intermediates analysis and multi-element (C, Br, H) compound-specific isotope analysis. Benzenetriol and 4-bromocatechol were detected during degradation of 4-bromophenol. Degradation resulted in a normal carbon isotope effect (ε C = −1.11 ± 0.09‰), and in insignificant bromine and hydrogen isotope fractionation. The dual C–Br isotope trend for ring hydroxylation obtained in the present study differs from the trends expected for reductive debromination or photolysis. Thus, the isotope data reported herein can be applied in future field studies to delineate aerobic biodegradation processes and differentiate them from other natural attenuation processes.
- Compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA)
- Ochrobactrum sp. HI1