Quinclorac is a widely used herbicide in rice filed. Unfortunately, quinclorac residues are phytotoxic to many crops/vegetables. The degradation of quinclorac in nature is very slow. On the other hand, degradation of quinclorac using bacteria can be an effective and efficient method to reduce its contamination. In this study, we isolated a quinclorac bioremediation bacterium strain F4 from quinclorac contaminated soils. Based on morphological characteristics and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, we identified strain F4 as Mycobacterium sp. We investigated the effects of temperature, pH, inoculation size and initial quinclorac concentration on growth and degrading efficiency of F4 and determined the optimal quinclorac degrading condition of F4. Under optimal degrading conditions, F4 degraded 97.38% of quinclorac from an initial concentration of 50 mg/L in seven days. Our indoor pot experiment demonstrated that the degradation products were non-phytotoxic to tobacco. After analyzing the quinclorac degradation products of F4, we proposed that F4 could employ two pathways to degrade quinclorac: one is through methylation, the other is through dechlorination. Furthermore, we reconstructed the whole genome of F4 through single molecular sequencing and de novo assembly. We identified 77 methyltransferases and eight dehalogenases in the F4 genome to support our hypothesized degradation path.
Journal: PloS one