Degradation of DDT by γ-hexachlorocyclohexane dehydrochlorinase LinA

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2023 Dec 19;88(1):123-130. doi: 10.1093/bbb/zbad141.


1,1,1-Trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethane (DDT) is the first synthetic insecticide and one of the most widely used pesticides. The use of DDT has been banned, but it remains one of the most notorious environmental pollutants around the world. In this study, we found that γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) dehydrochlorinase LinA from a γ-HCH-degrading bacterium, Sphingobium japonicum UT26, converts DDT to 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (DDE). Because of the weak DDT degradation activity of LinA, we could not detect such activity in UT26 cells expressing LinA constitutively. However, the linA-deletion mutant of UT26 harboring a plasmid for the expression of LinA, in which LinA was expressed at a higher level than UT26, showed the DDT degradation activity. This outcome highlights the potential for constructing DDT-degrading sphingomonad cells through elevated LinA expression.

Keywords: DDT; organochlorine pesticides; sphingomonads; γ-HCH dehydrochlorinase.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • DDT / metabolism
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane* / metabolism
  • Insecticides*


  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • DDT
  • dehydrochlorinases
  • Insecticides