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Keywords:

  • motility;
  • chemotaxis;
  • polychlorobiphenyls;
  • bioremediation;
  • environmental pollution

Abstract

The polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-degrading Pseudomonas sp. B4 was tested for its motility and ability to sense and respond to biphenyl, its chloroderivatives and chlorobenzoates in chemotaxis assays. Pseudomonas sp. B4 was attracted to biphenyl, PCBs and benzoate in swarm plate and capillary assays. Chemotaxis towards these compounds correlated with their use as carbon and energy sources. No chemotactic effect was observed in the presence of 2- and 3-chlorobenzoates. Furthermore, a toxic effect was observed when the microorganism was exposed to 3-chlorobenzoate. A nonmotile Pseudomonas sp. B4 transformant and Burkholderia xenovorans LB400, the laboratory model strain for PCB degradation, were both capable of growing in biphenyl as the sole carbon source, but showed a clear disadvantage to access the pollutants to be degraded, compared with the highly motile Pseudomonas sp. B4, stressing the importance of motility and chemotaxis in this environmental biodegradation.