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Cloning and characterization of lin genes responsible for the degradation of Hexachlorocyclohexane isomers by Sphingomonas paucimobilis strain B90.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) has been used extensively against agricultural pests and in public health programs for the control of mosquitoes. Commercial formulations of HCH consist of a mixture of four isomers, alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. While all these isomers pose serious environmental problems, beta-HCH is more problematic due to its longer persistence in the environment. We have studied the degradation of HCH isomers by Sphingomonas paucimobilis strain B90 and characterized the lin genes encoding enzymes from strain B90 responsible for the degradation of HCH isomers. Two nonidentical copies of the linA gene encoding HCH dehydrochlorinase, which were designated linA1 and linA2, were found in S. paucimobilis B90. The linA1 and linA2 genes could be expressed in Escherichia coli, leading to dehydrochlorination of alpha-, gamma-, and delta-HCH but not of beta-HCH, suggesting that S. paucimobilis B90 contains another pathway for the initial steps of beta-HCH degradation. The cloning and characterization of the halidohydrolase (linB), dehydrogenase (linC and linX), and reductive dechlorinase (linD) genes from S. paucimobilis B90 revealed that they share approximately 96 to 99% identical nucleotides with the corresponding genes of S. paucimobilis UT26. No evidence was found for the presence of a linE-like gene, coding for a ring cleavage dioxygenase, in strain B90. The gene structures around the linA1 and linA2 genes of strain B90, compared to those in strain UT26, are suggestive of a recombination between linA1 and linA2, which formed linA of strain UT26.
Bacterial Proteins/genetics, Cloning, Molecular, Escherichia coli/genetics, Genes, Bacterial/physiology, Hydrolases/genetics, Lindane/metabolism, Lyases, Sphingomonas/genetics, Sphingomonas/metabolism
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