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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008;15(2-3):93-120. doi: 10.1159/000121324. Epub 2008 Jul 28.

Anaerobic biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons: pathways and prospects.

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  • 1Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton Alta., Canada.


Aromatic hydrocarbons contaminate many environments worldwide, and their removal often relies on microbial bioremediation. Whereas aerobic biodegradation has been well studied for decades, anaerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation is a nascent field undergoing rapid shifts in concept and scope. This review presents known metabolic pathways used by microbes to degrade aromatic hydrocarbons using various terminal electron acceptors; an outline of the few catabolic genes and enzymes currently characterized; and speculation about current and potential applications for anaerobic degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons.

Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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