Aerobic Cometabolism of Ether-bonded CompoundsEPA Grant Number: R823426
Title: Aerobic Cometabolism of Ether-bonded Compounds
Investigators: Hyman, Michael R.
Institution: Oregon State University
Current Institution: Oregon State University , North Carolina State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through September 1, 1998
Project Amount: $358,953
RFA: Exploratory Research - Environmental Biology (1995) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Biology/Life Sciences , Human Health , Aquatic Ecosystems
Description:The overall aim of the research in this proposal is to characterize the microbial potential for the cometabolic degradation of a range of simple either-bonded compounds. The proposed research logically falls into four sections. First, we aim to examine what are the structural features of simple alkyl, alicyclic and aromatic ethers which dictate the reactivity of ether-bonded compounds towards non-specific microbial monooxygenase enzymes. These studies will be conducted with the soil nitrifying bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea which possesses a highly non-specific monooxygenase, ammonia monooxygenase. This microorganism also cannot further metabolize most organic substrates and this feature greatly assists in determining reaction pathways. The specific aims are: 1) to establish both the maximal rate of ether degradation and the products of those reactions; 2) to determine the oxidation products of a selected range of ether compounds which are recognized as environmental pollutants. These include chlorinated alkyl ethers, halogenated aryl ethers and dibenzo-p-dioxin; and 3) to establish how widely distributed this cometabolic capability for ether degradation and O-dealkylation is distributed in other microorganisms.
Completion of the proposed research will provide the first comprehensive analysis of the microbial cometabolic degradation of many simple ether compounds. The data will provide details of the structural features which determine ether reactivity, the products and pathways of cometabolic ether degradation and the relative rates of ether degradation catalyzed by diverse groups of microorganisms. These data will also provide insight into the possible environmental fate of two important classes of Priority Pollutants. Furthermore, these studies could also assist in the development of biocontrol or bioremediation procedures for ether-bonded compounds.