Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Stable isotope probing of the ovine rumen for RDX degrading microorganisms Public Deposited

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  • The anaerobic and highly reductive conditions found in the ovine rumen are considered favorable for the degradation of the nitroaromatic explosives such as hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). In this study, we used stable-isotope-probing to determine the bacteria responsible for the degradation of RDX in the rumen. Results indicate 10 μg mL⁻¹ (45 μM) of ¹³C-RDX was degraded within 4 hours. 16S rRNA data implicate members of the genera Brevundimonas sp., Methylobacterium sp. and Sphingomonas sp. in RDX degradation from sheep rumen fluid. Members of the genus Methylobacterium have been known to degrade RDX previously whereas this is the first study implicating Brevundimonas sp. and Sphingomonas sp. in RDX degradation. Enzymes known to participate in RDX degradation, nitroreductase and XplA, were not detected in ¹³C-DNA samples. This study indicates a previously unknown population of ovine ruminal bacteria is capable of degrading RDX via an as yet unidentified pathway.
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