Appearance and evolution of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane-degrading bacteria

Yuji Nagata, Michiro Tabata, Satoshi Ohhata, Masataka Tsuda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


α-Proteobacterial strains belonging to the so-called sphingomonads group degrade various highly recalcitrant compounds, including xenobiotics, but generally each strain degrades only a limited set of compounds, suggesting that sphingomonads tend to be specialists for the degradation of extremely recalcitrant compounds. In this chapter, the appearance and evolution of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH/γ-BHC/lindane)-degrading bacteria belonging to sphingomonads will be discussed on the basis of the structure and function of their genomes and mobile genetic elements. γ-HCH is a typical, completely man-made chlorinated pesticide that has caused serious environmental problems due to its toxicity and long persistence in upland soils. The genome sequence of an archetypal γ-HCH-degrading strain, Sphingobium japonicum UT26, and its comparison with those of other closely related γ-HCH-degrading and non-γ-HCH-degrading sphingomonad strains revealed that (1) these γ-HCH-degraders appeared independently and in parallel at geographically different areas by recruiting the specific lin genes into strains having the core functions of sphingomonads; (2) various sphingomonad-specific plasmids and the insertion sequence IS6100 play important roles in the recruitment and dissemination of the specific lin genes; and (3) transposition of IS6100 causes genome rearrangements including deletion and inversion of DNA sequences and fusion and resolution of replicons.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiodegradative Bacteria
Subtitle of host publicationHow Bacteria Degrade, Survive, Adapt, and Evolve
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9784431545200
ISBN (Print)4431545190, 9784431545194
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


  • Biodegradation
  • Environmental pollutant
  • Genome
  • Insertion sequence
  • Mobile genetic element
  • Plasmid
  • Sphingomonads
  • Xenobiotics
  • γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane


Dive into the research topics of 'Appearance and evolution of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane-degrading bacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this