The genome sequence of Desulfatibacillum alkenivorans AK-01: a blueprint for anaerobic alkane oxidation

Authors

  • A. V. Callaghan,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Oklahoma, Department of Botany and Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019-4110, USA.
    2. University of Oklahoma, Institute for Energy and the Environment, 100 East Boyd Street, Norman, OK 73019-0628, USA.
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  • B. E. L. Morris,

    1. University of Oklahoma, Department of Botany and Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019-4110, USA.
    2. University of Oklahoma, Institute for Energy and the Environment, 100 East Boyd Street, Norman, OK 73019-0628, USA.
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  • I. A. C. Pereira,

    1. Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal.
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  • M. J. McInerney,

    1. University of Oklahoma, Department of Botany and Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019-4110, USA.
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  • R. N. Austin,

    1. Bates College, Department of Chemistry, 5 Andrews Road, Lewiston, ME 04240-6028 USA.
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  • J. T. Groves,

    1. Princeton University, Department of Chemistry, Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544-1009 USA.
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  • J. J. Kukor,

    1. Rutgers University, Department of Environmental Sciences, 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551 USA.
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  • J. M. Suflita,

    1. University of Oklahoma, Department of Botany and Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019-4110, USA.
    2. University of Oklahoma, Institute for Energy and the Environment, 100 East Boyd Street, Norman, OK 73019-0628, USA.
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  • L. Y. Young,

    1. Rutgers University, Department of Environmental Sciences, 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551 USA.
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  • G. J. Zylstra,

    1. Rutgers University, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, 76 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525 USA.
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  • B. Wawrik

    1. University of Oklahoma, Department of Botany and Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019-4110, USA.
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E-mail acallaghan@ou.edu; Tel. (+1) 405 325 1872; Fax (+1) 405 325 7619.

Summary

Desulfatibacillum alkenivorans AK-01 serves as a model organism for anaerobic alkane biodegradation because of its distinctive biochemistry and metabolic versatility. The D. alkenivorans genome provides a blueprint for understanding the genetic systems involved in alkane metabolism including substrate activation, CoA ligation, carbon-skeleton rearrangement and decarboxylation. Genomic analysis suggested a route to regenerate the fumarate needed for alkane activation via methylmalonyl-CoA and predicted the capability for syntrophic alkane metabolism, which was experimentally verified. Pathways involved in the oxidation of alkanes, alcohols, organic acids and n-saturated fatty acids coupled to sulfate reduction and the ability to grow chemolithoautotrophically were predicted. A complement of genes for motility and oxygen detoxification suggests that D. alkenivorans may be physiologically adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions. The D. alkenivorans genome serves as a platform for further study of anaerobic, hydrocarbon-oxidizing microorganisms and their roles in bioremediation, energy recovery and global carbon cycling.

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