Phenol is widely used by many industries in Malaysia, and is one of the highly toxic environmental pollutants with levels exceeding the regulatory standard that have been reported in Malaysia. A phenol-degrading bacterium; Pseudomonas sp. AQ5-04, a metabolically versatile xenobiotic-degrading bacterium, has been isolated from a local contaminated site. The bacterium was able to withstand a high concentration of phenol. This work aims to determine the effect of concentration and to establish the yield factor on phenol as a carbon source. It was established that the isolate can degrade up to 900 mg/L phenol within 72 h; it was discovered that the yield factor (YX/S) varied between 0.3 to 0.6 mg cells per mg phenol for different initial phenol concentrations with increasing phenol concentrations resulting in a lower yield. This shows that growth on phenol is strongly inhibitory and resulted in low yield at an inhibitory concentration of phenol.
Key words: Pseudomonas sp. AQ5-04, yield factor, phenol, inhibitory concentration.
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