Pyrene degradation by Mycobacterium sp. strain KR2

Chemosphere. 1998 Jun;36(14):2977-92. doi: 10.1016/s0045-6535(97)10240-5.


A Mycobacterium sp., strain KR2 which was able to utilise pyrene as sole source of carbon and energy was isolated from a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated soil originating from the area of a former gaswork plant. The isolate metabolised up to 60% of the pyrene added (0.5 mg/mL) within 8 days at 20 degrees C. Cis-4,5-pyrene dihydrodiol, 4,5-phenanthrene dicarboxylic acid, 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid, 2-carboxybenzaldehyde, phthalic acid, and protocatechuic acid were identified as degradation products. Based on these findings a degradation pathway for pyrene is suggested which is in good accordance with the data published so far on bacterial pyrene metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mycobacterium / chemistry
  • Mycobacterium / metabolism*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / metabolism
  • Pyrenes / chemistry
  • Pyrenes / metabolism*
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Pyrenes