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A bacterial strain capable of hydrolyzing sulfateester bonds in p-nitrophenyl sulfate and agar was isolatedfrom the Southeast coast of Korea. The isolated strain(AS6330) is aerobic, Gram-negative, rod-shaped, and motile.Octadecanoic acid was the major cellular fatty acid in theisolate. An almost complete 16S rDNA sequence of theisolate was determined and the sequence similarity of the 16SrDNA with those of known Sphingomonas spp. was foundto be at most 96.4%, implying that the isolate was a newSphingomonas species. The organism was grown optimally atNaCl concentration of 1.5-3.5%. Optimum culture conditionswere determined to be 30oC and pH 7.0 for 48 h fermentationusing a laboratory fermentor under constant culture conditions.Partially purified arylsulfatase through Q-Sepharose and phenyl-Sepharose chromatographies catalyzed hydrolysis of sulfateester bonds in agar, and 97% of sulfates in agar were removedafter 4 h reaction at 45oC and pH 7.0. The arylsulfatase fromthe isolated bacterium might be useful for the removal ofsulfate groups in agar.