The role of Desulfitobacterium spp. in the global network of O-demethylation in soil
Desulfitobacterium spp. are strictly anaerobic bacteria first isolated from soils that were contaminated with halogenated compounds. It is now known that at least two strains of Desulfitobacterium hafniense are able to use phenyl methyl ethers, which are natural degradation products of lignin, as electron donators. Until recently, only acetogens were known to possess this ability. In contrast to them, Desulfitobacterium spp. do not use CO2 as a physiological electron acceptor, yet both desulfitobacteria and acetogens operate this process via O-demethylation of the corresponding phenyl methyl ethers.
The project aims to elucidate the role of Desulfitobacterium spp. in the process of O-demethylation in soils. For this purpose, various Desulfitobacterium spp. strains will be tested for their O-demethylation potential. Thereafter, FISH and PCR techniques shall be used to identify Desulfitobacterium spp., associated microorganisms as well as related O-demethylase genes in soils.
(2015) Enrichment of Desulfitobacterium spp. from forest and grassland soil using the O-demethylation of phenyl methyl ethers as growth-selective process. Microbiology 162(2), 224-235.
(2014) Conversion of phenyl methyl ethers by Desulfitobacterium spp. and screening for the genes involved. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 90(3), 783-790.
Start of PhD
April 16, 2012
October 6, 2015