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Trends Microbiol. 2006 Sep;14(9):398-405. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

Microbial degradation of sulfur, nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles.

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State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, People's Republic of China.


Sulfur (S), nitrogen (N) and oxygen (O) heterocycles are among the most potent environmental pollutants. Microbial degradation of these pollutants is attracting more and more attention because such bioprocesses are environmentally friendly. The biotechnological potential of these processes is being investigated, for example, to achieve better sulfur removal by immobilized biocatalysts with magnetite nanoparticles or by solvent-tolerant bacteria, and to obtain valuable intermediates from these heterocycles. Other recent advances have demonstrated the mechanisms of angular dioxygenation of nitrogen heterocycles by microbes. However, these technologies are not yet available for large-scale applications so future research must investigate proper modifications for industrial applications of these processes. This review focuses on recent progress in understanding how microbes degrade S, N and O heterocycles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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