Microbial Degradation of DDT.
Rept. no. 3 (Annual), 1 Jul 74-30 Jun 75,
CORNELL UNIV ITHACA N Y DEPT OF AGRONOMY
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Pseudomonas putida, an organism capable of utilizing diphenlmethane as sole source of carbon and energy, converted bisp-chlorophenylacetic acid to bisp-chlorophenylmethane, 4,4-dichlorobenzhydrol, and 4,4-dichlorobenzophenone by cometabolism. The organism also dehalogenated 4,4-dichlorobenzhydrol and 4,4-dichlorobenzophenone. This is the first report of such dehalogenations of ring chlorines derived from DDT. Pseudomonas putida was also shown to convert diphenylmethane to benzhydrol and benzophenone. The organism was also found to be capable of ring cleavage of diphenylmethane and benzhydrol, producing phenylacetic and phenylglycolic acids, respectively. Studies were conducted to assess the effect of salinity, temperature, oxygen tension and presence of sediment organic nutrients and algal cells on the decomposition of DDT in model marine ecosystems. In the model ecosystems receiving the alga Cylindrospermum sp. or diphenylmethane, DDD, DDE, and DBP were formed from DDT. DDT and its breakdown products had no significant effect on respiration of microbial communities or algal productivity.