Three strains capable of degrading a chlorophenol were isolated by selective enrichment from soils contaminated with industrial wastewater. A Pseudomonas solanacearum TCP114 could use 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (TCP) as sole carbon and energy source, while two strains of Pseudomonas testosteroni CPW301 and Arthrobacter ureafaciens CPR706 could use 4-CP. All isolates also grew well on phenol. The degradation of one component by a pure strain was strongly affected by the presence of other compounds in the medium, CPW301 and CPR706 entirely lost the ability to degrade 4-CP and phenol in the presence of TCP. TCP114 also lost the ability to degrade phenol when 4-CP was added to the culture medium. These restrictions on the degradability could be overcome by employing defined mixed cultures (TCP114 and one strain of 4-CP degrading strains). All three components were successfully degraded by defined mixed cultures through their cooperative activities. It was also demonstrated that defined mixed cultures could be immobilized by using calcium alginate for the semi-continuous degradation of the three component mixture. Immobilization could not only accelerate the degradation rate, but also allowed the reuse of the cell mass several times without loss of the cells' degrading capabilities.
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