Transformation of formaldehyde by a Halomonas sp.

M. Azachi*, Y. Henis, A. Oren, P. Gurevich, S. Sarig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

37 Scopus citations


A halotolerant Gram-negative eubacterium was isolated from soil collected at a storage site for formaldehyde near a chemical plant that uses formaldehyde in the production of glue. The strain, designated MA-C and identified as Halomonas sp. (DSM 7328), grew at salt concentrations from zero to above 20%. Halomonas sp. strain MA-C was found to be highly tolerant to formaldehyde and grew well in the presence of up to 75-100 mg/L formaldehyde. The isolate transformed formaldehyde at a high rate by means of a constitutive NAD- and glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase (EC Previous exposure to formaldehyde resulted in an increase in formaldehyde dehydrogenase activity from 280-480 to 650-850 nmol · mg protein-1 · min-1. Formate did not accumulate in culture media enriched with formaldehyde, and formate added to cultures was rapidly metabolized. An inducible NAD-dependent formate dehydrogenase (EC was detected (activity between 14 and 34 nmol NAD reduced mg protein-1 · min-1). Radioactive labelling experiments showed that neither formaldehyde nor formate was incorporated into cell material to a significant extent.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)548-553
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995


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