Dechloromonas aromatica

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Higher order taxa



Dechloromonas aromatica

NCBI: Taxonomy

Description and significance

Dechloromonas aromatica have rod shaped cells and are found in aquatic and aquatic sediment habitats. They can oxidize aromatic compounds such as toluene, benzoate, and chlorobenzoate. D. aromatica strain RCB was isolated from Potomic River sediment, Maryland, USA. It is the only organism in pure culture that is capable of oxidizing benzene anaerobically. Optimum growth temperature is 30º C and optimum growth salinity is 0%.

It is of significant interest to researchers and have had its genome sequenced because of its ability to oxidize benzene in absence of oxygen. Benzene is a highly soluble, mobile, toxic, and stable hydrocarbon in ground and surface waters. Normally benzene is poorly biodegraded in the absence of oxygen. It is widely used in various manufacturing processes and is also a primary component of petroleum-based fuels and contamination is a significant problem worldwide. For this reason bioremediative strategies using D. aromatica are of great interest. D. aromatica RCB is also capable of reducing perchlorate, another environmental hazard that occurs through manufacturing (and naturally) to chloride. They are also the first known organism to chemotaxe towards perchlorate.

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why it is important enough to have its genome sequenced. Describe how and where it was isolated. Include a picture or two (with sources) if you can find them.

Genome structure

Dechloromonas aromatica has a single circular DNA chromosome with a length of 4,501,104 bps and 4,250 genes encoding 4171 predicated proteins and 79 RNAs. The genome has a GC content of approximately 59.2% and 64% of the sequences have been assigned a role in categories.

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence? Does it have any plasmids? Are they important to the organism's lifestyle?

Cell structure and metabolism

Dechloromonas aromatica have rod shaped cells, two membranes, and are gram negative. They are usually either single cells or arranged in chains and are not capable of forming endospore. They are capable of forming flagella and thus possess motility.

As mentioned above Dechloromonas aromatica is capable oxidizing different aromatic compounds. D. aromatica strain RCB is also the only organism in pure culture that is capable of oxidizing benzene in the absence of oxygen. It is recognized as the first organism with the ability to do this, and is the only organism identified capable of this metabolism. The metabolic pathway through which they biodegrade benzene is currently unknown, studies suggest that it has both a dioxygenase-based aerobic pathway and an as yet uncharacterized anaerobic pathway. They are also capable of oxidizing Fe(II) and AHDS (a reduced humics compound).

Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


There is no known virulence.

Application to Biotechnology

Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required


Edited by Akira Noda, student of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano