Physiological stress in batch cultures of pseudomonas putida 54g during toluene degradation


Physiological stress associated with toluene exposure in batch cultures of Pseudomonas putida 54G was investigated. P. putida 54G cells were grown using a continuous vapor phase feed stream containing 150 ppmv or 750 ppmv toluene as the sole carbon and energy source. Cells were enumerated on non-selective (R2A agar plates) and a selective minimal medium incubated in the presence of vapor phase toluene (HCMM2). Differential recovery on the two media was used to evaluate bacterial stress, culturability and loss of toluene-degrading capability. A majority of the bacteria were reversibly stressed and could resume active colony formation on selective medium after passage on non-selective medium. A small fraction of the bacterial cells suffered an irreversible loss of toluene degradation capability and were designated as Tol− variants. Numbers of stressed organisms increased with duration of toluene exposure and toluene concentration and coincided with accumulation of metabolic intermediates from incomplete toluene degradation. Respiring cell numbers in the batch cultures decreased as injury increased, indicating a possible relationship between respiring and injured cells. Rate expressions for injury, for formation of Tol− variants and for growth of Tol− variants were determined by calibrating a theoretical model to the results obtained. These rate expressions can be used to calibrate bioreactor models, and provide a basis for better design and control of bioremediation systems.




Mirpuri, R.G., W.L. Jones, G.A. McFeters, and H.F. Ridgway, “Physiological Stress in Batch Cultures of Pseudomonas putida 54G During Toluene Degradation,” Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 18:406-413 (1997).
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