Growth in coculture stimulates metabolism of the phenylurea herbicide isoproturon by Sphingomonas sp. strain SRS2

Sebastian R. Sørensen, Zeev Ronen, Jens Aamand

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71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metabolism of the phenylurea herbicide isoproturon by Sphingomonas sp. strain SRS2 was significantly enhanced when the strain was grown in coculture with a soil bacterium (designated strain SRS1). Both members of this consortium were isolated from a highly enriched isoproturon-degrading culture derived from an agricultural soil previously treated regularly with the herbicide. Based on analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, strain SRS1 was assigned to the β-subdivision of the proteobacteria and probably represents a new genus. Strain SRS1 was unable to degrade either isoproturon or its known metabolites 3-(4-isopropylphenyl)-1-methylurea, 3-(4-isopropylphenyl)-urea, or 4-isopropyl-aniline. Pure culture studies indicate that Sphingomonas sp. SRS2 is auxotrophic and requires components supplied by association with other soil bacteria. A specific mixture of amino acids appeared to meet these requirements, and it was shown that methionine was essential for Sphingomonas sp. SRS2. This suggests that strain SRS1 supplies amino acids to Sphingomonas sp. SRS2, thereby leading to rapid metabolism of 14C-labeled isoproturon to 14CO2 and corresponding growth of strain SRS2. Proliferation of strain SRS1 suggests that isoproturon metabolism by Sphingomonas sp. SRS2 provides unknown metabolites or cell debris that supports growth of strain SRS1. The role of strain SRS1 in the consortium was not ubiquitous among soil bacteria; however, the indigenous soil microflora and some strains from culture collections also stimulate isoproturon metabolism by Sphingomonas sp. strain SRS2 to a similar extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3478-3485
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume68
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes

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