Diversity of soil mycobacterium isolates from three sites that degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons


A.J. Anderson, 5305 Old Main Hill, Department of Biology, Logan, UT 84322-5305, USA. E-mail: anderson@biology.usu.edu


Aims:  This paper investigates the diversity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading mycobacterium isolates from three different sites within United States: Montana, Texas and Indiana.

Methods and Results:  All five mycobacterium isolates differed in chromosomal restriction enzyme-fragmentation patterns; three isolates possessed linear plasmids. The DNA sequence between the murA and rRNA genes were divergent but the sequence upstream of nidBA genes, encoding a dioxygenase involved in pyrene oxidation, was more highly conserved. Long-chain fatty acid analysis showed most similarity between three isolates from the same Montana site. All isolates were sensitive to rifampicin and isoniazid, used in tuberculosis treatment, and to syringopeptins, produced by plant-associated pseudomonads. Biofilm growth was least for isolate MCS that grew on plate medium as rough-edged colonies. The patterns of substrate utilization in Biolog plates showed clustering of the Montana isolates compared with Mycobacterium vanbaalenii and Mycobacterium gilvum.

Conclusion:  The five PAH-degrading mycobacterium isolates studied differ in genetic and biochemical properties.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  Different properties with respect to antibiotic susceptibility, substrate utilization and biofilm formation could influence the survival in soil of the microbe and their suitability for use in bioaugmentation.