The atrazine catabolism genes atzABC are widespread and highly conserved

M. L. De Souza, J. Seffernick, B. Martinez, M. J. Sadowsky, L. P. Wackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas strain ADP metabolizes the herbicide atrazine via three enzymatic steps, encoded by the genes atzABC, to yield cyanuric acid, a nitrogen source for many bacteria. Here, we show that five geographically distinct atrazine-degrading bacteria contain genes homologous to atzA, -B, and -C. The sequence identities of the atz genes from different atrazine- degrading bacteria were greater than 99% in all pairwise comparisons. This differs from bacterial genes involved in the catabolism of other chlorinated compounds, for which the average sequence identity in pairwise comparisons of the known members of a class ranged from 25 to 56%. Our results indicate that globally distributed atrazine-catabolic genes are highly conserved in diverse genera of bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1951-1954
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998

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