Anaerobic aromatic compound degradation in Sulfuritalea hydrogenivorans sk43H

FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2019 Jan 1;95(1). doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiy199.


Sulfuritalea hydrogenivorans sk43H is well recognized as a chemolithoautotrophic microorganism that oxidizes thiosulfate, sulfur or hydrogen. In this study, pathways for aromatic compound degradation were identified in the respective genome and proved for functionality by cultivation. S. hydrogenivorans sk43H harbors gene clusters encoding pathways for the anaerobic degradation of benzoate and phenylacetate via benzoyl-CoA as well as a partial pathway for anaerobic cinnamate degradation. Aerobic hybrid pathways were identified for the degradation of benzoate and 2-aminobenzoate. An aerobic pathway involving mono- and dioxygenases was found for 4-hydroxybenzoate. The organization of the gene clusters for anaerobic aromatic compound degradation in S. hydrogenivorans sk43H was found to be similar to that of the corresponding gene clusters in 'Aromatoleum aromaticum' strain EbN1. Cultivation experiments revealed that S. hydrogenivorans sk43H degrades benzoate, 4-hydroxybenzoate, phenylacetate and 4-hydroxyphenylacetate under nitrate-reducing conditions. The results imply a so far overlooked role of this microorganism in anaerobic aromatic compound degradation. Due to the frequent detection of Sulfuritalea-related microorganisms at hydrocarbon-contaminated sites, an involvement of this genus in the degradation of aromatic pollutants should be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism*
  • Acyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Benzoates / metabolism*
  • Betaproteobacteria / genetics
  • Betaproteobacteria / metabolism*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Multigene Family
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenols / metabolism*


  • Acetates
  • Acyl Coenzyme A
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Benzoates
  • Nitrates
  • Phenols
  • phenyl acetate
  • benzoyl-coenzyme A