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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 27;9(1):e85140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085140. eCollection 2014.

Characterization of cyanobacterial hydrocarbon composition and distribution of biosynthetic pathways.

Author information

1
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.
2
Algorithmic Biology Laboratory, St. Petersburg Academic University, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia ; Department of Mathematics and Mechanics, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia.
3
Algorithmic Biology Laboratory, St. Petersburg Academic University, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia ; Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bionformatics, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia.
4
Algorithmic Biology Laboratory, St. Petersburg Academic University, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia ; Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.
5
Life Sciences Institute and Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.
6
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America ; Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Cyanobacteria possess the unique capacity to naturally produce hydrocarbons from fatty acids. Hydrocarbon compositions of thirty-two strains of cyanobacteria were characterized to reveal novel structural features and insights into hydrocarbon biosynthesis in cyanobacteria. This investigation revealed new double bond (2- and 3-heptadecene) and methyl group positions (3-, 4- and 5-methylheptadecane) for a variety of strains. Additionally, results from this study and literature reports indicate that hydrocarbon production is a universal phenomenon in cyanobacteria. All cyanobacteria possess the capacity to produce hydrocarbons from fatty acids yet not all accomplish this through the same metabolic pathway. One pathway comprises a two-step conversion of fatty acids first to fatty aldehydes and then alkanes that involves a fatty acyl ACP reductase (FAAR) and aldehyde deformylating oxygenase (ADO). The second involves a polyketide synthase (PKS) pathway that first elongates the acyl chain followed by decarboxylation to produce a terminal alkene (olefin synthase, OLS). Sixty-one strains possessing the FAAR/ADO pathway and twelve strains possessing the OLS pathway were newly identified through bioinformatic analyses. Strains possessing the OLS pathway formed a cohesive phylogenetic clade with the exception of three Moorea strains and Leptolyngbya sp. PCC 6406 which may have acquired the OLS pathway via horizontal gene transfer. Hydrocarbon pathways were identified in one-hundred-forty-two strains of cyanobacteria over a broad phylogenetic range and there were no instances where both the FAAR/ADO and the OLS pathways were found together in the same genome, suggesting an unknown selective pressure maintains one or the other pathway, but not both.

PMID:
24475038
PMCID:
PMC3903477
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0085140
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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