Polychlorinated biphenyl/biphenyl degrading gene clusters in Rhodococcus sp. K37, HA99, and TA431 are different from well-known bph gene clusters of Rhodococci

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007 May;71(5):1136-44. doi: 10.1271/bbb.60551. Epub 2007 May 7.


Four kinds of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-degrading Rhodococcus sp. (TA421, TA431, HA99, and K37) have been isolated from termite ecosystem and under alkaline condition. The bph gene cluster involved in the degradation of PCB/biphenyl has been analyzed in strain TA421. This gene cluster was highly homologous to bph gene clusters in R. globerulus P6 and Rhodococcus sp. RHA1. In this study, we cloned and analyzed the bph gene cluster essential to PCB/biphenyl degradation from R. rhodochrous K37. The order of the genes and the sequence were different in K37 than in P6, RHA1, and TA421. The bphC8(K37) gene was more homologous to the meta-cleavage enzyme involved in phenanthrene metabolism than bphC genes involved in biphenyl metabolism. Two other Rhodococcus strains (HA99 and TA431) had PCB/biphenyl degradation gene clusters similar to that in K37. These findings suggest that these bph gene clusters evolved separately from the well-known bph gene clusters of PCB/biphenyl degraders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Biphenyl Compounds / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Order
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Multigene Family*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / metabolism*
  • Rhodococcus / genetics*
  • Rhodococcus / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • DNA, Plant
  • diphenyl
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls