Biodegradation of didecyldimethylammonium chloride by Pseudomonas fluorescens TN4 isolated from activated sludge


T. Nishihara, Laboratory of Environmental Biochemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1–6 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka, 565–0871, Japan (e-mail:


Bacteria that degrade didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) were isolated from activated sludge from a municipal sewage treatment plant by enrichment culture with DDAC as a sole carbon source. One of the isolates, Pseudomonas fluorescens TN4, degraded DDAC to produce decyldimethylamine and subsequently, dimethylamine, as the intermediates. The TN4 strain also assimilated the other quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs), alkyltrimethyl- and alkylbenzyldimethyl-ammonium salts, but not alkylpyridinium salts. TN4 was highly resistant to these QACs and degraded them by an n-dealkylation process. These data mean that there are some QAC-resistant and QAC-degrading bacteria such as TN4 in the environment.