Characterization of the adaptive response to trichloroethylene-mediated stresses in Ralstonia pickettii PKO1

Joonhong Park, Jerome J. Kukor, Linda M. Abriola

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Ralstonia pickettii PKO1 a denitrifying toluene oxidizer that carries a toluene-3-monooxygenase (T3MO) pathway, the biodegradation of toluene and trichloroethylene (TCE) by the organism is induced by TCE at high concentrations. In this study, the effect of TCE preexposure was studied in the context of bacterial protective response to TCE-mediated toxicity in this organism. The results of TCE degradation experiments showed that cells induced by TCE at 110 mg/liter were more tolerant to TCE-mediated stress than were those induced by TCE at lower concentrations, indicating an ability of PKO1 to adapt to TCE-mediated stress. To characterize the bacterial protective response to TCE-mediated stress, the effect of TCE itself (solvent stress) was isolated from TCE degradation-dependent stress (toxic intermediate stress) in the subsequent chlorinated ethylene toxicity assays with both nondegradable tetrachloroethylene and degradable TCE. The results of the toxicity assays showed that TCE preexposure led to an increase in tolerance to TCE degradation-dependent stress rather than to solvent stress. The possibility that such tolerance was selected by TCE degradation-dependent stress during TCE preexposure was ruled out because a similar extent of tolerance was observed in cells that were induced by toluene, whose metabolism does not produce any toxic products. These findings suggest that the adaptation of TCE-induced cells to TCE degradation-dependent stress was caused by the combined effects of solvent stress response and T3MO pathway expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5231-5240
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Nov 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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