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Features of diclofenac biodegradation by Rhodococcus ruber IEGM 346

By Ivshina, et al.

This study investigated the ability of rhodococci to biodegrade diclofenac (DCF), one of the polycyclic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) most frequently detected in the environment. Rhodococcus ruber strain IEGM 346 capable of complete DCF biodegradation (50 µg/L) over 6 days was selected. It is distinguished by the ability to degrade DCF at high (50 mg/L) concentrations unlike other known biodegraders. The DCF decomposition process was accelerated by adding glucose and due to short-term cell adaptation to 5 µg/L DCF. The most typical responses to DCF exposure observed were the changed ζ-potential of bacterial cells; increased cell hydrophobicity and total cell lipid content; multi-cellular conglomerates formed; and the changed surface-to-volume ratio. The obtained findings are considered as mechanisms of rhodococcal adaptation and hence their increased resistance to toxic effects of this pharmaceutical pollutant. The proposed pathways of bacterial DCF metabolisation were described. The data confirming the C-N bond cleavage and aromatic ring opening in the DCF structure were obtained.

Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 9159 (2019)

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