Biotransformation of tetracycline by a novel bacterial strain Stenotrophomonas maltophilia DT1

Yifei Leng, Jianguo Bao, Gaofeng Chang, Han Zheng, Xingxing Li, Jiangkun Du, Daniel Snow, Xu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Although several abiotic processes have been reported that can transform antibiotics, little is known about whether and how microbiological processes may degrade antibiotics in the environment. This work isolated one tetracycline degrading bacterial strain, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strain DT1, and characterized the biotransformation of tetracycline by DT1 under various environmental conditions. The biotransformation rate was the highest when the initial pH was 9 and the reaction temperature was at 30 °C, and can be described using the Michaelis-Menten model under different initial tetracycline concentrations. When additional substrate was present, the substrate that caused increased biomass resulted in a decreased biotransformation rate of tetracycline. According to disk diffusion tests, the biotransformation products of tetracycline had lower antibiotic potency than the parent compound. Six possible biotransformation products were identified, and a potential biotransformation pathway was proposed that included sequential removal of N-methyl, carbonyl, and amine function groups. Results from this study can lead to better estimation of the fate and transport of antibiotics in the environment and has the potential to be utilized in designing engineering processes to remove tetracycline from water and soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016


  • Biotransformation
  • Hydrolysis
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • Tetracycline
  • Transformation products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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