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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 Oct;76(6):1209-21. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Bacterial metabolism of long-chain n-alkanes.

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Department of Biotechnology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Sem Saelandsvei 6/8, 7491 Trondheim, Norway.


Degradation of alkanes is a widespread phenomenon in nature, and numerous microorganisms, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, capable of utilizing these substrates as a carbon and energy source have been isolated and characterized. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the understanding of bacterial metabolism of long-chain n-alkanes. Bacterial strategies for accessing these highly hydrophobic substrates are presented, along with systems for their enzymatic degradation and conversion into products of potential industrial value. We further summarize the current knowledge on the regulation of bacterial long-chain n-alkane metabolism and survey progress in understanding bacterial pathways for utilization of n-alkanes under anaerobic conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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