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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jul;69(7):4167-76.

Production of a polyunsaturated isoprenoid wax ester during aerobic metabolism of squalene by Marinobacter squalenivorans sp. nov.

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Laboratoire d'Océanographie et de Biogéochimie (UMR 6535), Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille-OSU, Campus de Luminy, case 901, 13288 Marseille, France.


This paper describes the production of 5,9,13-trimethyltetradeca-4E,8E,12-trienyl-5,9,13-trimethyltetradeca-4E,8E,12-trienoate during the aerobic degradation of squalene by a Marinobacter strain, 2Asq64, isolated from the marine environment. A pathway involving initial cleavage of the C(10)-C(11) or C(14)-C(15) double bonds of the squalene molecule is proposed to explain the formation of this polyunsaturated isoprenoid wax ester. The isoprenoid wax ester content reached 1.1% of the degraded squalene at the mid-exponential growth phase and then decreased during the stationary phase. The wax ester content increased by approximately threefold in N-limited cultures, in which the ammonium concentration corresponds to conditions often found in marine sediments. This suggests that the bacterial formation of isoprenoid wax esters might be favored in such environments. The bacterial strain is then characterized as a member of a new species, for which we propose the name Marinobacter squalenivorans sp. nov.

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