Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 61–66 | Cite as

Specific biodegradation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) facilitated by plant terpenoids

  • Kyung-Ja Jung
  • Eungbin Kim
  • Jae-Seong So
  • Sung-Cheol Koh


The aim of this study was to examine how plant terpenoids, as natural growth substrates or inducers, would affect the biodegradation of PCB congeners. Various PCB degraders that could grow on biphenyl and several terpenoids were tested for their PCB degradation capabilities. Degradation activities of the PCB congeners, 4,4′-dichlorobiphenyl (4,4′-DCBp) and 2,2′-dichlorobiphenyl (2,2′-DCBp), were initially monitored through a resting cell assay technique that could detect their degradation products. The PCB degraders,Pseudomonas sp. P166 andRhodococcus sp. T104, were found to grow on both biphenyl and terpenoids ((S)-(−) limonene,p-cymene and α-terpinene) whereasArthrobacter sp. B1B could not grow on the terpenoids as a sole carbon source. The B1B strain grown on biphenyl exhibited good degradation activity for 4,4′-DCBp and 2,2′-DCBp, while the activity of strains P166 and T104 was about 25% that of the B1B strain, respectively. Concomitant GC analysis, however, demonstrated that strain T104, grown on (S)-(−) limonene,p-cymene and α-terpinene, could degrade 4,4′-DCBp up to 30%, equivalent to 50% of the biphenyl induction level. Moreover, strain T104 grown on (S)-(−) limonene, could also degrade 2,2′-DCBp up to 30%. This indicates that terpenoids, widely distributed in nature, could be utilized as both growth and/or inducer substrate(s) for PCB biodegradation in the environment.


Arthrobacter B1B bioremediation bph genes terpenoids Pseudomonas sp. P166 PCBs resting cell assay Rhodococcus sp. T104 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung-Ja Jung
    • 1
  • Eungbin Kim
    • 2
  • Jae-Seong So
    • 3
  • Sung-Cheol Koh
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Civil and Environmental EngineeringKorea Maritime UniversityPusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of BiologyYonsei UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of Biological Engineering, Center of Advanced Bioseparation TechnologyInha UniversityIncheonKorea

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