U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published in Biodegradation 14: 309–319, 2003.


Successful microbial-mediated remediation requires transformation pathways that maximize metabolism and minimize the accumulation of toxic products. Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain MX, isolated from munitionscontaminated soil, degraded 100 mg TNT L-1 in culture medium within 10 h under aerobic conditions. The major TNT products were 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2ADNT, primarily in the supernatant) and 2,2′- azoxytoluene (2,2′AZT, primarily in the cell fraction), which accumulated as major products via the intermediate 2-hydroxylamino-4,6-dinitrotoluene(2HADNT). The 2HADNT and 2,2′AZT were relatively less toxic to the strain than TNT and 2ADNT. Aminodinitrotoluene (ADNT) production increased when yeast extract was added to the medium. While TNT transformation rate was not affected by pH, more HADNTs accumulated at pH 5.0 than at pH 8.0 and AZTs did not accumulate at the lower pH. The appearance of 2,6-diamino-4-nitrotoluene (2,6DANT) and 2,4-diamino-6-nitrotoluene (2,4DANT); dinitrotoluene (DNT) and nitrotoluene (NT); and 3,5-dinitroaniline (3,5DNA) indicated various routes of TNT metabolism and detoxification by P. aeruginosa strain MX.