Appearance and evolution of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane-degrading bacteria

Yuji Nagata, Michiro Tabata, Satoshi Ohhata, Masataka Tsuda

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    α-Proteobacterial strains belonging to the so-called sphingomonads group degrade various highly recalcitrant compounds, including xenobiotics, but generally each strain degrades only a limited set of compounds, suggesting that sphingomonads tend to be specialists for the degradation of extremely recalcitrant compounds. In this chapter, the appearance and evolution of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH/γ-BHC/lindane)-degrading bacteria belonging to sphingomonads will be discussed on the basis of the structure and function of their genomes and mobile genetic elements. γ-HCH is a typical, completely man-made chlorinated pesticide that has caused serious environmental problems due to its toxicity and long persistence in upland soils. The genome sequence of an archetypal γ-HCH-degrading strain, Sphingobium japonicum UT26, and its comparison with those of other closely related γ-HCH-degrading and non-γ-HCH-degrading sphingomonad strains revealed that (1) these γ-HCH-degraders appeared independently and in parallel at geographically different areas by recruiting the specific lin genes into strains having the core functions of sphingomonads; (2) various sphingomonad-specific plasmids and the insertion sequence IS6100 play important roles in the recruitment and dissemination of the specific lin genes; and (3) transposition of IS6100 causes genome rearrangements including deletion and inversion of DNA sequences and fusion and resolution of replicons.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBiodegradative Bacteria: How Bacteria Degrade, Survive, Adapt, and Evolve
    PublisherSpringer Japan
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Print)9784431545200, 4431545190, 9784431545194
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


    • Biodegradation
    • Environmental pollutant
    • Genome
    • Insertion sequence
    • Mobile genetic element
    • Plasmid
    • Sphingomonads
    • Xenobiotics
    • γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Environmental Science(all)

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