ABSTRACT We searched for a superior melamine-degrading bacterium for the bioremediation of melamine. Cyanuric acid, which is a by-product produced during the biodegradation of melamine, shows strong nephrotoxicity. Therefore, the melamine-degrading bacterium is also required to show a high ability to degrade cyanuric acid. We selected a melamine-degrading strain (MEL1) among ten cyanuric acid-degrading bacteria isolated from the soil. The species of MEL1 strain was Microbacterium esteramaticum or was extremely similar to that species, and the enzymatic activity of the melamine deaminase in the MEL1 strain was similar to that in the NRRLB-12227 strain. The ability of the MEL1 strain to degrade cyanuric acid was higher than its ability to degrade melamine, and therefore, the accumulation of by-products (ammeline, ammelide and cyanuric acid) during the degradation of melamine was minimal. These results suggest that the MEL1 strain is useful for the bioremediation of melamine.
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