Biotechnol. Bioeng., Vol.45. 488-494, 1995

Amplification of Toluene Dioxygenase Genes in a Hybrid Pseudomonas Strain to Enhance the Biodegradation of Benzene, Toluene, and p-Xylene Mixture

Jang-Young Lee, Kwan-Hye Jung, and Hak-Sung Kim

A hybrid metabolic pathway through which benzene, toluene, and p-xylene(BTX) mixture colud be simultaneously mineralized was previously constructed in Pseudomonas putida TB101. In this work, we improved the performance of the hybrid pathway by cloning the todC1C2BA genes in the broad-host-range multicopy vector RSF1010 and by introducing the resulting plasmid pTOL037 into P. putida mt-2 which harbors the archetypal TOL plasmid. As a result, a new hybrid strain, P. putida TB103, possessing the enhanced activity of toluene dioxygenase in the hybrid pathway was constructed. The degradation rates of benzene, toluene, and p-xylene by P. putida TB103 were increased by about 9.3-, 3.7-, and 1.4-fold, respectively, compared with those by previously constructed P. putida TB101. Apparently, this improved capability of P. putida TB103 for the degradation of BTX mixture resulted from the amplification of the todC1C2BA genes. Furthermore, a relatively long lag period for benzene degradation observed when P. putida TB101 was used for the degradation of BTX mixture ar\t low dissolved oxygen(DO) tension disappeared when P. putida TB103 was employed.