Toxic effect of methyl tert-butyl ether on growth of soil isolate Pseudomonas veronii T1/1

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The toxic and growth inhibiting effects of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) on the hydrocarbon-degrading Pseudomonas veronii T1/1 strain (isolated from gasoline contaminated soil) were studied. In our experiments, the MIC of MTBE was found to be 60 mM and the EC50 was 51.7 mM. In the concentration range 0–30 mM, MTBE did not significantly influence the growth parameters of this bacterium, but at concentrations over 30 mM MTBE exerted a significant growth inhibiting effect. In the presence of 70 mM MTBE, the specific growth rate dropped from 0.4731 to 0.1201 h−1, while the length of the lag period increased from 5.41 to 17.01 h and the yield coefficient declined from 0.2652 to 0.0718 g g−1. MTBE at 100 mM inhibited the growth of this strain completely. These findings may have important environmental implications, as high concentrations of MTBE could influence the efficiency of soil and groundwater bioremediation processes significantly.

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