Buprofezin is a widely used insect growth regulator whose residue has been frequently detected in the environment, posing a threat to aquatic organisms and non-target insects. Microorganisms play an important role in the degradation of buprofezin in the natural environment. However, the relevant catabolic pathway has not been fully characterized, and the molecular mechanism of catabolism is still completely unknown. Rhodococcus qingshengii YL-1 can utilize buprofezin as a sole source of carbon and energy for growth. In this study, the upstream catabolic pathway in strain YL-1 was identified using tandem mass spectrometry. Buprofezin is composed of a benzene ring and a heterocyclic ring. The degradation is initiated by the dihydroxylation of the benzene ring and continues via dehydrogenation, aromatic ring cleavage, breaking of an amide bond and the release of the heterocyclic ring 2-tert-butylimino-3-isopropyl-1,3,5-thiadiazinan-4-one (2-BI). A buprofezin degradation-deficient mutant strain YL-0 was isolated. Comparative genomic analysis combined with gene deletion and complementation experiments revealed that the gene cluster bfzBA3A4A1A2C is responsible for the upstream catabolic pathway of buprofezin. bfzA3A4A1A2 encodes a novel Rieske non-heme iron oxygenase (RHO) system that is responsible for the dihydroxylation of buprofezin at the benzene ring; bfzB is involved in dehydrogenation, and bfzC is in charge of benzene ring cleavage. Furthermore, the products of bfzBA3A4A1A2C can also catalyze dihydroxylation, dehydrogenation and aromatic ring cleavage of biphenyl, flavanone, flavone and bifenthrin. In addition, a transcriptional study revealed that bfzBA3A4A1A2C is organized in one transcriptional unit that is constitutively expressed in strain YL-1.Importance There is an increasing concern about the residue and environmental fate of buprofezin. Microbial metabolism is an important mechanism responsible for the buprofezin degradation in natural environment. However, the molecular mechanism and genetic determinants of microbial degradation of buprofezin has not been well identified. This work revealed that gene cluster bfzBA3A4A1A2C is responsible for the upstream catabolic pathway of buprofezin in R. qingshengii YL-1. The products of bfzBA3A4A1A2C could also degrade bifenthrin, a widely used pyrethroid insecticide. These findings enhance our understanding of the microbial degradation mechanism of buprofezin and benefit the application of strain YL-1 and bfzBA3A4A1A2C in the bioremediation of buprofezin contamination. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Journal: Applied and environmental microbiology