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Utilization of organophosphonates by environmental microorganisms

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McGrath, JW, Ternan, Nigel and Quinn, JP (1997) Utilization of organophosphonates by environmental microorganisms. LETTERS IN APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY, 24 (1). pp. 69-73. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1046/j.1472-765X.1997.00350.x


A survey of the utilization by environmental micro-organisms of a range of compounds containing the carbon-phosphorus (C-P) bond was carried out. Elective culture studies indicated that 15 of 19 alkylphosphonates tested served only as a sole source of phosphorus for microbial growth. Their metabolism did not lead to the extracellular release of inorganic phosphate. However, four organophosphonates - phosphonoacetate, phosphonoalanine, 2-aminoethylphosphonate and phosphonomycin - supported microbial growth when supplied as either a phosphorus source or as a carbon and energy source, with near-quantitative inorganic phosphate release. Four of five amino alkylphosphonates tested were also utilized as a nitrogen source in the presence of 1 mmol l(-1) inorganic phosphate. In a subsequent screening programme, 99% of bacterial isolates tested were able to utilize 2-aminoethylphosphonate as a sole phosphorus source, 61% as a nitrogen source, 10% as a source of nitrogen and phosphorus, and 2% as a source of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus; 2% of isolates used phosphonoalanine as a nitrogen source. These results suggest that the uptake and metabolism of organophosphonates by bacteria is less `tightly' regulated by phosphorus starvation than has previously been supposed.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE)
ID Code:3693
Deposited By:Dr Nigel Ternan
Deposited On:17 Dec 2009 11:55
Last Modified:16 May 2012 15:23

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