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J Appl Microbiol. 2003;95(5):1124-33.

Shewanella sp. GA-22, a psychrophilic hydrocarbonoclastic antarctic bacterium producing polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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1
Istituto per l'Ambiente Marino Costiero, CNR Messina, Italy.

Abstract

AIMS:

The effects of different growth media and temperature on production of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) by Shewanella sp. GA-22 were investigated. The attempts to characterize the GA-22 genes, homologous to those of PUFA biosynthesis gene cluster, was performed.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Physiological and phylogenetic characterization of new Antarctic isolate GA-22 was performed. Total fatty acids were isolated from the cells growing under different conditions and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Using degenerated primers derived from the conserved regions within PUFA fatty acid synthase operons, five fragments of homological genes were amplified from GA-22 DNA, and two of them corresponding to pfaA and pfaC synthase subunits were sequenced.

CONCLUSIONS:

Strain GA-22 was shown to be able to produce three different PUFA: linoleic, arachidonic and eicosapentaenoic acids. The PUFA production was temperature- and carbon source-dependent. The deduced gene products exhibited high similarity to corresponding fatty acid synthases PfaA and PfaC.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY:

The PUFA production was detected on media supplemented with crude oil, gasoline and n-tetradecane. The apparent conservation of PUFA genes may point to the potential utilization of designed primers as functional markers in culture-independent ecological studies, and for initial screening in biotechnological fields.

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