Hydrocarbon-oxidizing bacteria

Eugene Rosenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Hydrocarbon-oxidizing bacteria have been isolated from a variety of terrestrial and aquatic environments, using both enrichment and direct plating techniques. Although bacteria able to grow on aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons are found in many genera, the genera Alcanivorax appear to be special because these bacteria are specialized for growth on hydrocarbons. The initial step in the bacterial degradation of hydrocarbons is the introduction of oxygen into the molecules by group-specific oxygenases. Since these oxygenases are membrane bound, the cell must come into direct contact with their water-insoluble substrate. Hydrocarbon-oxidizing bacteria have potential applications in bioremediation of oil pollution, enhanced oil recovery, production of surface-active agents, and in the use of hydrocarbons as substrates for industrial fermentation processes. 1. Microbial spoilage of petroleum products 2. Treatment of oil spills and disposal of petroleum wastes 3. Enhanced oil recovery 4. Production of surface-active agents 5.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Prokaryotes
Subtitle of host publicationProkaryotic Physiology and Biochemistry
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783642301414
ISBN (Print)3642301401, 9783642301407
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013


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