Alkaliphilic Mycobacterium sp. strain MHP-1, which can grow on pyrene as a sole carbon and energy source, was isolated from a soil sample. At the optimum pH for growth (pH 9), about 50% of pyrene (final concentration at 0.1% [w/v]) was degraded during 7 d of incubation, and 4,5-phenanthrenedioic acid, 4-phenanthroic acid and phthalic acid were identified as metabolic intermediates. Strain MHP-1 was found to possess aromatic-ring dioxygenase genes, which are highly homologous to the known nidAB genes from pyrene-degrading mycobacteria.
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