Isolation and characterization of a fluorene-degrading bacterium: identification of ring oxidation and ring fission products

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1992 Sep;58(9):2910-7.


An Arthrobacter sp. strain, F101, able to use fluorene as the sole source of carbon and energy, was isolated from sludge from an oil refinery wastewater treatment plant. During growth in the presence of fluorene, four major metabolites were detected and isolated by thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. 9-Fluorenol, 9H-fluoren-9-one, and 3,4-dihydrocoumarin were identified by UV spectra, mass spectrometry, and 300-MHz proton nuclear magnetic resonance. The fourth metabolite has been characterized, but precise identification was not possible. Since strain F101 is not able to grow with fluorenone, two different pathways of fluorene biodegradation are suggested: one supports cell growth and produces 3,4-dihydrocoumarin as an intermediate and probably the unidentified metabolite, and the other produces 9-fluorenol and 9H-fluoren-9-one and appears to be a dead-end route.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthrobacter / isolation & purification
  • Arthrobacter / metabolism*
  • Arthrobacter / ultrastructure
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Fluorenes / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Water Microbiology


  • Fluorenes
  • fluorene