Indexed on: 27 Aug '15Published on: 27 Aug '15Published in: Environmental Science & Technology
2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) is a recalcitrant groundwater micropollutant that poses a major problem for drinking water production in European countries. Aminobacter sp. MSH1 and related strains have the unique ability to mineralize BAM at micropollutant concentrations but no information exists on the genetics of BAM biodegradation. An amidase-BbdA-converting BAM to 2,6-dichlorobenzoic acid (DCBA) was purified from Aminobacter sp. MSH1. Heterologous expression of the corresponding bbdA gene and its absence in MSH1 mutants defective in BAM degradation, confirmed its BAM degrading function. BbdA shows low amino acid sequence identity with reported amidases and is encoded by an IncP1-β plasmid (pBAM1, 40.6 kb) that lacks several genes for conjugation. BbdA has a remarkably low KM for BAM (0.71 μM) and also shows activity against benzamide and ortho-chlorobenzamide (OBAM). Differential proteomics and transcriptional reporter analysis suggest the constitutive expression of bbdA in MSH1. Also in other BAM mineralizing Aminobacter sp. strains, bbdA and pBAM1 appear to be involved in BAM degradation. BbdA's high affinity for BAM and its constitutive expression are of interest for using strain MSH1 in treatment of groundwater containing micropollutant concentrations of BAM for drinking water production.