How bioaugmentation with Comamonas testosteroni accelerates pyridine mono-oxygenation and mineralization

Ge Zhu, Yongming Zhang, Songyun Chen, Lu Wang, Zhichun Zhang, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Pyridine is a common heterocycle found in industrial wastewaters. Its biodegradation begins with a mono-oxygenation reaction, and bioaugmentation with bacteria able to carry out this mono-oxygenation is one strategy to improve pyridine removal and mineralization. Although bioaugmentation has been used to enhance the biodegradation of recalcitrant organic compounds, the specific role played by the bioaugmented bacteria usually has not been addressed. We acclimated activated-sludge biomass for pyridine biodegradation and then isolated a strain – Comamonas testosteroni – based on its ability to biodegrade and grow on pyridine alone. Pyridine was removed faster by C. testosteroni, compared to pyridine-acclimated biomass, but pyridine mineralization was slower. Pyridine biodegradation and mineralization rates were accelerated when C. testosteroni was bioaugmented into the acclimated biomass, which increased the amount of C. testosteroni, but otherwise had minimal effects on the microbial community. The key role of C. testosteroni was to accelerate the first step of pyridine biodegradation, mono-oxygenation to 2-hydroxylpyridine (2HP), and the acclimated biomass was better able to complete downstream reactions leading to mineralization. Thus, bioaugmentation increased the rates of pyridine mono-oxygenation and subsequent mineralization through the synergistic roles of C. testosteroni and the main community in the acclimated biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110553
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Bioaugmentation
  • Biodegradation
  • Comamonas testosteroni
  • Mineralization
  • Pyridine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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