Characterization of 3-chlorobenzoate degrading aerobic bacteria isolated under various environmental conditions

Janneke Krooneman, Arne O. Sliekers, Teresa M. Pedro Gomes, Larry J. Forney, Jan C. Gottschal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The rates of bacterial growth in nature are often restricted by low concentrations of oxygen or carbon substrates. In the present study the metabolic properties of 24 isolates that had been isolated using various concentrations of 3-chlorobenzoate, benzoate and oxygen as well as using continuous culture at high and low growth rates were determined to investigate the effects of these parameters on the metabolism of monoaromatic compounds. Bacteria were enriched from different sampling sites and subsequently isolated. In batch culture this was done both under low oxygen (2% O2) and air-saturated concentrations. Chemostat enrichments were performed under either oxygen or 3-chlorobenzoate limiting conditions. Bacteria metabolizing aromatics with gentisate or protocatechuate as intermediates (gp bacteria) as well as bacteria metabolizing aromatic compounds via catechols (cat bacteria) were isolated from batch cultures when either benzoate or 3CBAwere used as C sources, regardless of the enrichment conditions applied. In contrast, enrichments performed in chemostats at low dilution rates resulted in gp-type organisms only, whereas at high dilution rates cat-type organisms were enriched, irrespective of the oxygen and 3-chlorobenzoate concentration used during enrichment. It is noteworthy that the gp-type of bacteria possessed relatively low Vmax values on3CBA and benzoate along with relatively high substrate and oxygen affinities for these compounds. This is in contrast with cat-type of bacteria, which seemed to be characterized by high maximum specific growth rates on the aromatic substrates and relatively high apparent half saturation constants. In contrast, bacteria degrading chlorobenzoate via gentisate or protocatechuate may possibly be better adapted to conditions leading to growth at reduced rates such as low oxygen and low substrate concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-chlorobenzoate
  • substrate limitation
  • hypoxic condition
  • catechol pathway
  • gentisate
  • protocatechuate pathway
  • oxygen concentrations
  • microbial growth
  • degradation
  • kinetics


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