Indexed on: 22 Sep '07Published on: 22 Sep '07Published in: Omics : a journal of integrative biology
Fluorinated organic compounds, although rare in nature, are significant environmental contaminants owing to the numerous applications for which this class of compounds is employed. It is important that biodegradation of these compounds can be readily assessed in order to provide information on their fate in the environment. Fluorine-19 nuclear magnetic resonance (19F NMR) spectroscopy has emerged as a very useful technique to readily determine the catabolism of fluorinated aromatic compounds by microorganisms, either in whole cell or cell-free systems. The principal advantage of this technique is that fluorinated compounds can be observed directly in the culture supernatant or enzyme assay, without purification or derivatization. In this review an account of the application of 19F NMR in the study of microbial metabolism of organofluorine compounds is presented.