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Degradation of hydroxyhydroquinone by the strictly anaerobic fermenting bacterium Pelobacter massiliensis sp. nov.

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A new rod-shaped, gram-negative, non-sporeforming, strictly anaerobic bacterium (strain HHQ7) was enriched and isolated from marine mud samples with hydroxyhydroquinone (1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene) as sole substrate. Strain HHQ7 fermented hydroxyhydroquinone, pyrogallol (1,2,3-trihydroxybenzene), phloroglucinol (1,3,5-trihydroxybenzene) and gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoate) to 3 mol acetate (plus 1 mol CO2 in the case of gallic acid) per mol of substrate. Resorcinol accumulated intermediately during growth on hydroxy-hydroquinone. No other aliphatic or aromatic substrates were utilized. Sulfate, sulfite, sulfur, nitrate, and fumarate were not reduced with hydroxyhydroquinone as electron donor. The strain grew in sulfide-reduced mineral medium supplemented with 7 vitamins. The DNA base ratio was 59% G+C. Strain HHQ7 is classified as a new species of the genus Pelobacter, P. massiliensis. Experiments with dense cell suspensions of hydroxyhydroquinone-and pyrogallol-grown cells showed different kinetics of hydroxyhydroquinone and pyrogallol degradation, as well as different patterns of resorcinol accumulation, indicating that these substrates are metabolized by different transhydroxylation reactions.

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Schnell, S., Brune, A. & Schink, B. Degradation of hydroxyhydroquinone by the strictly anaerobic fermenting bacterium Pelobacter massiliensis sp. nov.. Arch. Microbiol. 155, 511–516 (1991).

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Key words

  • Hydroxyhydroquinone
  • Anaerobic degradation
  • Pelobacter massiliensis sp. nov.
  • Trihydroxybenzenes
  • Aromatic compounds