Specific biodegradation of folychiorinated biphenyls (FCBs) facilitated by plant terpenoids

Kyung Ja Jung, Eungbin Kim, Jae Seong So, Sung Cheol Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine how plant terpenoids, as natural growth substrates or inducers, would affect the biodegradation of PCB congeners. Various PCB degraders that could grow on biphenyl and several terpenoids were tested for their PCB degradation capabilities. Degradation activities of the PCB congeners, 4,4′-dichlorobiphenyl (4,4′-DCBp) and 2,2′-dichlorobiphenyl (2,2′-DCBp), were initially monitored through a resting cell assay technique that could detect their degradation products. The PCB degraders, Pseudomonas sp. P166 and Rhodococcus sp. T104, were found to grow on both biphenyl and terpenoids ((S)-(-) limonene, p-cymene and α-rerpinene) whereas Arthrobacter sp. B1B could not grow on the terpenoids as a sole carbon source. The B1B strain grown on biphenyl exhibited good degradation activity for 4,4′-DCBp and 2,2′-DCBp, while the activity of strains P166 and T104 was about 25% that of the B1B strain, respectively. Concomitant GC analysis, however, demonstrated that strain T104, grown on (S)-(-) limonene, p-cymene and α-terpinene, could degrade 4,4′-DCBp up to 30%, equivalent to 50%, of the biphenyl induction level. Moreover, strain T104 grown on (S)-(-) limonene, could also degrade 2,2′-DCBp up to 30%. This indicates that terpenoids, widely distributed in nature, could be utilized as both growth and/or inducer substrate(s) for PCB biodegradation in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Specific biodegradation of folychiorinated biphenyls (FCBs) facilitated by plant terpenoids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this