Oxidation of Sulphonic Compounds by Aquatic Bacteria isolated from Rivers of the Amazon Region


THE sulphonic group has been found as a component of aliphatic compounds in plants and algae1–5. The metabolic fate of sulphonic compounds in micro-organisms has been so far the only available means of studying their transformation in nature6,7. As well as the importance of this information for a general understanding of the biochemical pathways of living organisms, there is also the question of the increasing use of sulphonic detergents and their release in sewages and soils. Their biodegradation depends on the ability of micro-organisms of soil and water to oxidize them. Previous work has shown that soil and water poor in vegetable residues, such as that near big cities like Rio de Janeiro, contain very few bacterial strains able to carry out this degradation. Only a few such bacteria were found in soil samples, and no bacteria able to oxidize sulphonic compounds were found in water samples7.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Benson, A. A., Daniel, H., and Wieser, R., Proc. US Nat. Acad. Sci., 45, 1582 (1959).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Folkers, K., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 66, 1083 (1944).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Kuriyama, M., Bull. Japan Soc. Sci. Fish., 27, 699 (1961).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Wickberg, J. W., and Wickberg, B., Acta Chem. Scand., 11, 506 (1956).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Shibuya, I., Yagi, T., and Benson, A. A., Microalgae and Photosynthetic Bacteria, 627 (Japan Soc. Plant Physiologists, University of Tokyo Press, 1963).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Martelli, H. L., and Benson, A. A., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 93, 169 (1964).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Martelli, H. L., and Souza, S. M., Biochim. Biophys. Acta (in the press).

  8. 8

    Breed, R. S., Murray, E. G. D., and Smith, N. R., Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (The William and Wilkins Company, Baltimore, 1957).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

MARTELLI, H. Oxidation of Sulphonic Compounds by Aquatic Bacteria isolated from Rivers of the Amazon Region. Nature 216, 1238–1239 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161238a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.