Arthrobacter sp. strain KU001 isolated from a Thai soil degrades atrazine in the presence of inorganic nitrogen sources

Kannika Sajjaphan, Pimpak Heepngoen, Michael J. Sadowsky, Nantakorn Boonkerd

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An atrazine-degrading bacterium, strain KU001, was obtained from a sugarcane field at the Cane and Sugar Research and Development Center at the Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Thailand. Strain KU001 had a rod-to-coccus morphological cycle during growth. Biolog carbon source analysis indicated that the isolated bacterium was Arthrobacter histidinolovorans. Sequence analysis of the PCR product indicated that the 16S rRNA gene in strain KU001 was 99% identical to the same region in Arthrobacter sp. The atrazine degradation pathway in strain KU001 consisted of the catabolic genes trzN, atzB, and atzC. Strain KU001 was able to use atrazine as a sole nitrogen source for growth, and surprisingly, atrazine degradation was not inhibited in cells grown on ammonium, nitrate, or urea, as compared with cells cultivated on growthlimiting nitrogen sources. During the atrazine degradation process, the supplementation of nitrate completely inhibited atrazine degradation activity in strain KU001, whereas ammonium and urea had no effect on atrazine degradation activity. The addition of strain KU001 to sterile or nonsterile soils resulted in the disappearance of atrazine at a rate that was 4- to 5-fold more than that achieved by the indigenous microbial community. The addition of citrate to soils resulted in enhanced atrazine degradation, where 80% of atrazine disappeared within one day following nutrient supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-608
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Arthrobacter
  • Atrazine-degrading bacteria
  • Inorganic nitrogen


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