Synergy of strains that accelerate biodegradation of pyridine and quinoline

Ge Zhu, Feifei Xing, Jinzhao Tao, Songyun Chen, Ke Li, Lifeng Cao, Ning Yan, Yongming Zhang, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Three bacterial strains were isolated from activated sludge acclimated to biodegrade pyridine and quinoline simultaneously. The strains were identified as Bacillus tropicus, Bacillus aquimaris, and Rhodococcus ruber. When the isolated bacteria were used for pyridine and quinoline biodegradation in separate or combined modes, R. ruber had much faster kinetics, and combining R. ruber with one or both of the Bacillus strains increased further the biodegradation kinetics. For example, the time needed for complete biodegradation of 1 mM quinoline and pyridine decreased to 20 h and 6 h, respectively, with the three strains combined, compared to 26 h and 7 h with R. ruber alone. Whereas quinoline was completely mineralized by all three strains, 10–14% of the pyridine persisted as a dead-end product, 2-hydroxypyridine (2HP). The acclimated sludge from which the three bacterial species were isolated was able to transform 2HP, and adding the bacterial strains (especially R. ruber) to the acclimated sludge accelerated the rate of 2HP removal and mineralization through a form of synergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112119
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Bacillus sp
  • Biodegradation
  • Pyridine
  • Quinoline
  • Synergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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