Alcanivorax borkumensis SK2

Names Alcanivorax borkumensis SK2
Accession numbers NC_008260
Background The gammaproteobacterium Alcanivorax borkumensis is a cosmopolitan marine bacterium isolated from a seawater sediment sample in the North Sea 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. This unusual rod-shaped slow-growing marine hydrocarbonoclastic bacterium is able to grow on a highly restricted spectrum of substrates, predominantly alkanes-2. Using n-alkanes as a sole carbon source causes the strains to produce extracellular and membrane-bound surface-active glucose lipids. These biosurfactants (anionic glucolipids) reduce the surface tension of water, acting as a natural emulsifier, and facilitate emulsification of alkanes, enhances their bioavailability and increases the degradation rate of these hydrophobic organic substrates. Phenotypic analysis showed a restricted nutritional profile, high halotolerance, the absence of fermentative metabolism and a low G+C content. A. borkumensis 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 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. (EBI Integr8)
Strain SK2
Complete Yes
Sequencing centre (11-JUL-2006) Martins dos Santos V.A.P., Division of Microbiology, German Research Center for Biotechnology, D-38124
(28-JUL-2006) National Center for Biotechnology Information, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA
Sequencing quality Level 6: Finished
Sequencing depth NA
Sequencing method Sanger
Isolation site Seawater sediment sample in the Isle of Borkum, North Sea
Isolation country NA
Number of replicons 1
Gram staining properties Negative
Shape Bacilli
Mobility No
Flagellar presence Yes
Number of membranes 2
Oxygen requirements Aerobic
Optimal temperature NA
Temperature range Mesophilic
Habitat Aquatic
Biotic relationship Free living
Host name NA
Cell arrangement NA
Sporulation NA
Metabolism Hydrocarbon degrading
Energy source Oligotroph
Diseases None
Pathogenicity No