Isolation of bacterial strains able to metabolize lignin and lignin-related compounds

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2016 Jul;63(1):30-7. doi: 10.1111/lam.12581. Epub 2016 Jun 3.


In this study, we identified five strains isolated from soil and sediments able to degrade kraft lignin, aromatic dyes and lignin derivatives. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the isolates were identified as Serratia sp. JHT01, Serratia liquefacien PT01, Pseudomonas chlororaphis PT02, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia PT03 and Mesorhizobium sp. PT04. All the isolates showed significant growth on lignin with no water-extractable compounds. Synthetic aromatic dyes were used to assess the presence of oxidative enzymes. All the isolates were able to use the thiazine dye Methylene blue and the anthraquinone dye Remazol Brilliant Blue R as the sole carbon source. Guaiacol, veratryl alcohol and biphenyl were also mineralized by all the strains isolated. These results suggest they could be used for the treatment of aromatic pollutants and for the degradation of the lignocellulosic biomass.

Significance and impact of the study: The valorization of waste lignin and lignocellulosic biomass by biocatalysis opens up new possibilities for the production of value-added substituted aromatics, biofuel and for the treatment of aromatic pollutants. Bacteria with ligninolytic potential could be a source of novel enzymes for controlled lignin depolymerization. In this work, five soil bacteria were isolated and studied. Every isolate showed significant growth on lignin and was able to degrade several lignin monomers and ligninolytic indicator dyes. They could thus be a source of novel ligninolytic enzymes as well as candidates for a bacterial consortium for the delignification of lignocellulosic biomass.

Keywords: dye degradation; lignin; ligninolytic bacteria; rapid screening; soil.

MeSH terms

  • Anthraquinones / metabolism
  • Benzyl Alcohols / metabolism
  • Biodegradation, Environmental*
  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Biphenyl Compounds / metabolism
  • Coloring Agents / metabolism*
  • Guaiacol / metabolism
  • Lignin / metabolism*
  • Mesorhizobium / genetics
  • Mesorhizobium / isolation & purification
  • Mesorhizobium / metabolism*
  • Methylene Blue / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas chlororaphis / genetics
  • Pseudomonas chlororaphis / isolation & purification
  • Pseudomonas chlororaphis / metabolism*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Serratia liquefaciens / genetics
  • Serratia liquefaciens / isolation & purification
  • Serratia liquefaciens / metabolism*
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia / genetics
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia / isolation & purification
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia / metabolism*


  • Anthraquinones
  • Benzyl Alcohols
  • Biofuels
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Coloring Agents
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • lignocellulose
  • diphenyl
  • Guaiacol
  • Kraft lignin
  • Lignin
  • Remazol Brilliant Blue R
  • veratryl alcohol
  • Methylene Blue