Phthalic acid esters (PAEs) are a group of recalcitrant and hazardous organic compounds that pose a great threat to both ecosystem and human beings. A novel endophytic strain YJB3 that could utilize a wide range of PAEs as the sole carbon and energy sources for cell growth was isolated from Canna indica root tissue. It was identified as Bacillus megaterium based on morphological characteristics and 16S rDNA sequence homology analysis. The degradation capability of the strain YJB3 was investigated by incubation in mineral salt medium containing di-n-butyl-phthalate (DBP), one of important PAEs under different environmental conditions, showing 82.5% of the DBP removal in 5days of incubation under the optimum conditions (acetate 1.2g·L-1, inocula 1.8%, and temperature 34.2°C) achieved by two-step sequential optimization technologies. The DBP metabolites including mono-butyl phthalate (MBP), phthalic acid (PA), protocatechuic acid (PCA), etc. were determined by GC-MS. The PCA catabolic genes responsible for the aromatic ring cleavage of PCA in the strain YJB3 were excavated by whole-genome sequencing. Thus, a degradation pathway of DBP by the strain YJB3 was proposed that MBP was formed, followed by PA, and then the intermediates were further utilized till complete degradation. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show the biodegradation of PAEs using endophyte. The results in the present study suggest that the strain YJB3 is greatly promising to act as a competent inoculum in removal of PAEs in both soils and crops. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journal: The Science of the total environment