Methyl t-butyl ether-degrading bacteria for bioremediation and biocontrol purposes

Giada d'Errico, Veronica Aloj, Valeria Ventorino, Assunta Bottiglieri, Ernesto Comite, Alberto Ritieni, Roberta Marra, Sergio Bolletti Censi, Gavin R. Flematti, Olimpia Pepe, Francesco Vinale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A total of fifteen potential methyl t-butyl ether (MtBE)-degrading bacterial strains were isolated from contaminated soil. They have been identified as belonging to the genera Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Kocuria, Janibacter, Starkeya, Bosea, Mycolicibacterium, and Rhodovarius. Bacillus aryabhattai R1B, S. novella R8b, and M. mucogenicum R8i were able to grow using MtBE as carbon source, exhibiting different growth behavior and contaminant degradation ability. Their biocontrol ability was tested against various fungal pathogens. Both S. novella R8b and B. aryabhattai were effective in reducing the development of necrotic areas on leaves within 48 hours from Botritys cinerea and Alternaria alternata inoculation. Whereas, M. mucogenicum effectively controlled B. cinerea after 72 hours. Similar results were achieved using Pythium ultimum, in which the application of isolated bacteria increased seed germination. Only M. mucogenicum elicited tomato plants resistance against B. cinerea. This is the first report describing the occurrence of bioremediation and biocontrol activities in M. mucogenicum, B. aryabhattai and S. novella species. The production of maculosin and its antibiotic activity against Rhizoctonia solani has been reported for first time from S. novella. Our results highlight the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to achieve a consistent selection of bacterial strains useful for plant protection and bioremediation purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0228936
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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