Transformation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) by actinomycetes isolated from TNT-contaminated and uncontaminated environments

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1996 Mar;62(3):1120-3. doi: 10.1128/aem.62.3.1120-1123.1996.


Actinomycete strains isolated from 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT)-contaminated and uncontaminated environments were compared for TNT tolerance and abilities to transform TNT. Regardless of previous TNT exposure history, no significant differences in TNT tolerance were seen among strains. Selected strains did not significantly mineralize [14C]TNT. The actinomycetes did, however, transform TNT into reduced intermediates. The data indicate that, in actinomycete-rich aerobic environments like composts, actinomycetes will transform TNT into intermediates which are known to form recalcitrant polymers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetales / metabolism*
  • Biotransformation
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Trinitrotoluene / pharmacokinetics*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Trinitrotoluene