Isolation from Agricultural Soil and Characterization of a Sphingomonas sp. Able to Mineralize the Phenylurea Herbicide Isoproturon

Sebastian R. Sørensen, Zeev Ronen, Jens Aamand

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    121 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    A soil bacterium (designated strain SRS2) able to metabolize the phenylurea herbicide isoproturon, 3-(4-isopropylphenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (IPU), was isolated from a previously IPU-treated agricultural soil. Based on a partial analysis of the 16S rRNA gene and the cellular fatty acids, the strain was identified as a Sphingomonas sp. within the α-subdivision of the proteobacteria. Strain SRS2 was able to mineralize IPU when provided as a source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy. Supplementing the medium with a mixture of amino acids considerably enhanced IPU mineralization. Mineralization of IPU was accompanied by transient accumulation of the metabolites 3-(4-isopropylphenyl)-1-methylurea, 3-(4-isopropylphenyl)-urea, and 4-isopropyl-aniline identified by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis, thus indicating a metabolic pathway initiated by two successive N-demethylations, followed by cleavage of the urea side chain and finally by mineralization of the phenyl structure. Strain SRS2 also transformed the dimethylurea-substituted herbicides diuron and chlorotoluron, giving rise to as-yet-unidentified products. In addition, no degradation of the methoxy-methylurea-substituted herbicide linuron was observed. This report is the first characterization of a pure bacterial culture able to mineralize IPU.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5403-5409
    Number of pages7
    JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
    Volume67
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 2001

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