Author(s): Schneiker S, Martins dos Santos VA, Bartels D, Bekel T, Brecht M,
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Abstract Alcanivorax borkumensis is a cosmopolitan marine bacterium that uses oil hydrocarbons as its exclusive source of carbon and energy. Although barely detectable in unpolluted environments, A. borkumensis becomes the dominant microbe in oil-polluted waters. A. borkumensis SK2 has a streamlined genome with a paucity of mobile genetic elements and energy generation-related genes, but with a plethora of genes accounting for its wide hydrocarbon substrate range and efficient oil-degradation capabilities. The genome further specifies systems for scavenging of nutrients, particularly organic and inorganic nitrogen and oligo-elements, biofilm formation at the oil-water interface, biosurfactant production and niche-specific stress responses. The unique combination of these features provides A. borkumensis SK2 with a competitive edge in oil-polluted environments. This genome sequence provides the basis for the future design of strategies to mitigate the ecological damage caused by oil spills.
This article was published in Nat Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics