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Nat Biotechnol. 2006 Aug;24(8):997-1004. Epub 2006 Jul 30.

Genome sequence of the ubiquitous hydrocarbon-degrading marine bacterium Alcanivorax borkumensis.

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  • 1Lehrstuhl für Genetik, Fakultät für Biologie, Universität Bielefeld, D-33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

Abstract

Alcanivorax borkumensis is a cosmopolitan marine bacterium that uses oil hydrocarbons as its exclusive source of carbon and energy. Although barely detectable in unpolluted environments, A. borkumensis becomes the dominant microbe in oil-polluted waters. A. borkumensis SK2 has a streamlined genome with a paucity of mobile genetic elements and energy generation-related genes, but with a plethora of genes accounting for its wide hydrocarbon substrate range and efficient oil-degradation capabilities. The genome further specifies systems for scavenging of nutrients, particularly organic and inorganic nitrogen and oligo-elements, biofilm formation at the oil-water interface, biosurfactant production and niche-specific stress responses. The unique combination of these features provides A. borkumensis SK2 with a competitive edge in oil-polluted environments. This genome sequence provides the basis for the future design of strategies to mitigate the ecological damage caused by oil spills.

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PMID:
16878126
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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