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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Microaerophilic degradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) by three Rhodococcus strains.

AIM: The goal of this study was to compare the degradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) by three Rhodococcus strains under anaerobic, microaerophilic (<0.04 mg l(-1) dissolved oxygen) and aerobic (dissolved oxygen (DO) maintained at 8 mg l(-1)) conditions. METHODS AND RESULTS: Three Rhodococcus strains were incubated with no, low and ambient concentrations of oxygen in minimal media with succinate as the carbon source and RDX as the sole nitrogen source. RDX and RDX metabolite concentrations were measured over time. Under microaerophilic conditions, the bacteria degraded RDX, albeit about 60-fold slower than under fully aerobic conditions. Only the breakdown product, 4-nitro-2,4-diazabutanal (NDAB) accumulated to measurable concentrations under microaerophilic conditions. RDX degraded quickly under both aerated and static aerobic conditions (DO allowed to drop below 1 mg l(-1)) with the accumulation of both NDAB and methylenedinitramine (MEDINA). No RDX degradation was observed under strict anaerobic conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The Rhodococcus strains did not degrade RDX under strict anaerobic conditions, while slow degradation was observed under microaerophilic conditions. The RDX metabolite NDAB was detected under both microaerophilic and aerobic conditions, while MEDINA was detected only under aerobic conditions. IMPACT AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: This work confirmed the production of MEDINA under aerobic conditions, which has not been previously associated with aerobic RDX degradation by these organisms. More importantly, it demonstrated that aerobic rhodococci are able to degrade RDX under a broader range of oxygen concentrations than previously reported.[1]


  1. Microaerophilic degradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) by three Rhodococcus strains. Fuller, M.E., Perreault, N., Hawari, J. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. (2010) [Pubmed]
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