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Aerobic biodegradation of N-nitrosodimethylamine by the propanotroph Rhodococcus ruber ENV425
; Fournier, Diane
; Hawari, Jalal
; Halasz, Annamaria
; Streger, Sheryl H.
; McClay, Kevin R.
; Masuda, Hisako
Hatzinger, Paul B.
NRC Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI-IRB); National Research Council Canada
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
The propanotroph Rhodococcus ruber ENV425 was observed to rapidly biodegrade N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) after growth on propane, tryptic soy broth, or glucose. The key degradation intermediates were methylamine, nitric oxide, nitrite, nitrate, and formate. Small quantities of formaldehyde and dimethylamine were also detected. A denitrosation reaction, initiated by hydrogen atom abstraction from one of, the two methyl groups, is hypothesized to result in the formation of n-methylformaldimine and nitric oxide, the former of which decomposes in water to methylamine and formaldehyde and the latter of which is then oxidized further to nitrite and then nitrate. Although the strain mineralized more than 60% of the carbon in [¹⁴C]NDMA to ¹⁴CO2, growth of strain ENV425 on NDMA as a sole carbon and energy source could not be confirmed. The bacterium was capable of utilizing NDMA, as well as the degradation intermediates methylamine and nitrate, as sources of nitrogen during growth on propane. In addition, ENV425 reduced environmentally relevant microgram/liter concentrations of NDMA to <2 ng/liter in batch cultures, suggesting that the bacterium may have applications for groundwater remediation.