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Summary

A novel type of Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) has been found in a marine strain of Stenotrophomonas maltophila strain PML168 that was isolated from a temperate intertidal zone. The enzyme is able to use NADH as the source of reducing power necessary to accept the atom of diatomic oxygen not incorporated into the oxyfunctionalized substrate. Growth studies have establish that the enzyme is inducible, appears to serve a catabolic role, and is specifically induced by one or more unidentified components of seawater as well as various anthropogenic xenobiotic compounds. A blast search of the primary sequence of the enzyme, recovered from the genomic sequence of the isolate, has placed this atypical BVMO in the context of the several hundred known members of the flavoprotein monooxygenase superfamily. A particular feature of this BVMO lies in its truncated C-terminal domain, which results in a relatively small protein (357 amino acids; 38.4 kDa). In addition, metagenomic screening has been conducted on DNA recovered from an extensive range of marine environmental samples to gauge the relative abundance and distribution of similar enzymes within the global marine microbial community. Although low, abundance was detected in samples from many marine provinces, confirming the potential for biodiscovery in marine microorganisms.