Biodegradation of N-Containing Xenobiotics

  • Jing Ye
  • Ajay Singh
  • Owen P. Ward
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 2)


Nitrobenzene, nitrotoluenes, nitrophenols, nitrobenzoates and nitrate esters constitute a major class of widely distributed environmental contaminants. Theses nitrogen-containing organic compounds are frequently used as pesticides, explosives, dyes, and in the manufacture of polymers and pharmaceuticals and their industrial manufacture and application have generated a serious disposal problem. These chemicals, their by-products and metabolites can be highly toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic, thereby threatening the environment and human health (Yinon 1990; Gong et al. 2001). Microorganisms play an important role in transforming these contaminants through a wide diversity of genes and evolved mechanisms to degrade these synthetic organic structures (Spain 1995; Freeman and Sutherland 1998; Hawari 2000; Ralebitso et al. 2002). Genomics research has assisted microbiologists to further understand the role of microorganisms in biodegradation and in the development of new bioremediation solutions (Wackett and Hershberger 2001; Wackett et al. 2002). However, combinations of nitroaromatic compounds present in the contaminated environments complicate the bioremediation efforts.


Cyanuric Acid Ring Cleavage Nitroaromatic Compound Nitrate Ester Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Ye
    • 1
  • Ajay Singh
    • 2
  • Owen P. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Petrozyme Technologies Inc.GuelphCanada

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