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Appl Environ Microbiol. Nov 1990; 56(11): 3346–3353.
PMCID: PMC184952
Degradation of the Ferric Chelate of EDTA by a Pure Culture of an Agrobacterium sp
John J. Lauff,1* D. Bernie Steele,2 Louise A. Coogan,1 and James M. Breitfeller1
1Genencor International, 1870 Winton Road, South, Rochester, New York 14618, and Department of Botany and Microbiology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 368992
* Corresponding author.
Present address: Analytical Technology Division, Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY 14650.
Abstract
A pure culture of an Agrobacterium sp. (deposited as ATCC 55002) that mineralizes the ferric chelate of EDTA (ferric-EDTA) was isolated by selective enrichment from a treatment facility receiving industrial waste containing ferric-EDTA. The isolate grew on ferric-EDTA as the sole carbon source at concentrations exceeding 100 mM. As the degradation proceeded, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and an unidentified metabolite(s) were produced; the pH increased, and iron was precipitated from solution. The maximum rate of degradation observed with sodium ferric-EDTA as the substrate was 24 mM/day. At a substrate concentration of 35 mM, 90% of the substrate was degraded in 3 days and 70% of the associated chemical oxygen demand was removed from solution. Less than 15% of the carbon initially present was incorporated into the cell mass. Significant growth of this strain was not observed with uncomplexed EDTA as the sole carbon source at comparable concentrations; however, the ferric chelate of propylenediaminetetraacetic acid (ferric-PDTA) did support growth.
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