Genotypic Survey and Phylogenetic Alignment of Dechlorinating Microorganisms
Zahrt, Thomas C.
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Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a chemical which became one of the most widely used and distributed pesticides within the world. Due to its versatility and popularity, PCP and its sodium salt (Na-PCP) were commonly used as a fungicide, insecticide, and termicide by the wood processing industry. As a consequence, it became widely distributed within the environment, and is now on the united states Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Priority Toxic Chemical List. PCP poses serious threats to terrestrial and aquatic organisms, because it acts as an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation. Interestingly, many bacteria have been isolated which possess the ability to degrade PCP. The research outlined in this document includes a genotypic survey of several bacteria capable of dechlorinating PCP. Two microbes, Arthrobacter sp., strain ATCC 33790 and Pseudomonas sp., strain SR3, were found to contain genes homologous to those encoding the dechlorinating machinery in Flavobacterium sp., strain ATCC 39723. A phylogenetic alignment of these three microbes was also performed by sequencing 16s rDNA. It was hoped that this data would help reveal information concerning the relatedness of these dechlorinating genes.