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Utilization of 3-N-trimethylamino-1-propanol by Rhodococcus sp. strain A4 isolated from Natural Soil

Authors: Isam A. Mohamed Ahmed, Jiro Arima, Tsuyoshi Ichiyanagi, Emi Sakuno, Nobuhiro Mori


The aim of this study was to screen for microorganism that able to utilize 3-N-trimethylamino-1-propanol (homocholine) as a sole source of carbon and nitrogen. The aerobic degradation of homocholine has been found by a gram-positive Rhodococcus sp. bacterium isolated from soil. The isolate was identified as Rhodococcus sp. strain A4 based on the phenotypic features, physiologic and biochemical characteristics, and phylogenetic analysis. The cells of the isolated strain grown on both basal-TMAP and nutrient agar medium displayed elementary branching mycelia fragmented into irregular rod and coccoid elements. Comparative 16S rDNA sequencing studies indicated that the strain A4 falls into the Rhodococcus erythropolis subclade and forms a monophyletic group with the type-strains of R. opacus, and R. wratislaviensis. Metabolites analysis by capillary electrophoresis, fast atom bombardment-mass spectrometry, and gas chromatography- mass spectrometry, showed trimethylamine (TMA) as the major metabolite beside β-alanine betaine and trimethylaminopropionaldehyde. Therefore, the possible degradation pathway of trimethylamino propanol in the isolated strain is through consequence oxidation of alcohol group (-OH) to aldehyde (-CHO) and acid (-COOH), and thereafter the cleavage of β-alanine betaine C-N bonds yielded trimethylamine and alkyl chain.

Keywords: Homocholine, 3-N-trimethylamino-1-propanol, Quaternary ammonium compounds, 16S rDNA gene sequence.

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