Kinetics of 1,4-dioxane biodegradation by monooxygenase-expressing bacteria. Academic Article uri icon


  • 1,4-Dioxane is a probable human carcinogen, and an important emerging water contaminant. In this study, the biodegradation of dioxane by 20 bacterial isolates was evaluated, and 13 were found to be capable of transforming dioxane. Dioxane served as a growth substrate for Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190 and Pseudonocardia benzenivorans B5, with yields of 0.09 g protein g dioxane(-1) and 0.03 g protein g dioxane(-1), respectively. Cometabolic transformation of dioxane was observed for monooxygenase-expressing strains that were induced with methane, propane, tetrahydrofuran, or toluene including Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, Mycobacterium vaccae JOB5, Pseudonocardia K1, Pseudomonas mendocina KR1, Ralstonia pickettii PKO1, Burkholderia cepacia G4, and Rhodococcus RR1. Product toxicity resulted in incomplete dioxane degradation for many of the cometabolic reactions. Brief exposure to acetylene, a known monooxygenase inhibitor, prevented oxidation of dioxane in all cases, supporting the hypothesis that monooxygenase enzymes participated in the transformation of dioxane by these strains. Further, Escherichia coli TG1/pBS(Kan) containing recombinant plasmids derived from the toluene-2- and toluene-4-monooxygenases of G4, KR1 and PKO1 were also capable of cometabolic dioxane transformation. Dioxane oxidation rates measured at 50 mg/L ranged from 0.01 to 0.19 mg hr(-1) mg protein(-1) for the metabolic processes, 0.1-0.38 mg hr(-1) mg protein(-1) for cometabolism by the monooxygenase-induced strains, and 0.17-0.60 mg hr(-1) mg protein(-1) for the recombinant strains. Dioxane was not degraded by M. trichosporium OB3b expressing particulate methane monooxygenase, Pseudomonas putida mt-2 expressing a toluene side-chain monooxygenase, and PseudomonasJS150 and Pseudomonas putida F1 expressing toluene-2,3-dioxygenases. This is the first study to definitively show the role of monooxygenases in dioxane degradation using several independent lines of evidence and to describe the kinetics of metabolic and cometabolic dioxane degradation.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Mahendra, S., & Alvarez-Cohen, L.

citation count

  • 147

complete list of authors

  • Mahendra, Shaily||Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa

publication date

  • September 2006