Benzoate and Phenylacetate Degradation by a Novel Marine Chlorate-Reducing Bacterium

Scanning electron micrograph of strain NSS

Benzoate and Phenylacetate Degradation by a Novel Marine Chlorate-Reducing Bacterium

A novel marine dissimilatory chlorate-reducing bacterium (CRB), Dechloromarinus chlorophilus strain NSS, catabolizes both benzoate and phenylacetate.

Strain NSS is one of four gammaproteobacteria known to reduce chlorate, and it shares 98% 16S sequence identity with the (per)chlorate reducing Sedimenticola selenatireducens CUZ.

The NSS genome contains a chlorate reduction island (CRI) characteristic of all other known CRB. The genome contained complete copies of the hybrid aerobic and anaerobic pathway for benzoate degradation. Interestingly, benzoate degradation was coupled to chlorate and nitrate reduction, but not utilized aerobically. In contrast, phenylacetate degradation was coupled to chlorate, nitrate, and oxygen as electron acceptors.

This research aims to characterize the physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of strain NSS. The isolate represents an opportunity to further understanding of chlorate reduction and catabolism of aromatics.