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1.  Involvement of an Alkane Hydroxylase System of Gordonia sp. Strain SoCg in Degradation of Solid n-Alkanes▿  
Enzymes involved in oxidation of long-chain n-alkanes are still not well known, especially those in Gram-positive bacteria. This work describes the alkane degradation system of the n-alkane degrader actinobacterium Gordonia sp. strain SoCg, which is able to grow on n-alkanes from dodecane (C12) to hexatriacontane (C36) as the sole C source. SoCg harbors in its chromosome a single alk locus carrying six open reading frames (ORFs), which shows 78 to 79% identity with the alkane hydroxylase (AH)-encoding systems of other alkane-degrading actinobacteria. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR showed that the genes encoding AlkB (alkane 1-monooxygenase), RubA3 (rubredoxin), RubA4 (rubredoxin), and RubB (rubredoxin reductase) were induced by both n-hexadecane and n-triacontane, which were chosen as representative long-chain liquid and solid n-alkane molecules, respectively. Biotransformation of n-hexadecane into the corresponding 1-hexadecanol was detected by solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME/GC-MS) analysis. The Gordonia SoCg alkB was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 and in Streptomyces coelicolor M145, and both hosts acquired the ability to transform n-hexadecane into 1-hexadecanol, but the corresponding long-chain alcohol was never detected on n-triacontane. However, the recombinant S. coelicolor M145-AH, expressing the Gordonia alkB gene, was able to grow on n-triacontane as the sole C source. A SoCg alkB disruption mutant that is completely unable to grow on n-triacontane was obtained, demonstrating the role of an AlkB-type AH system in degradation of solid n-alkanes.
doi:10.1128/AEM.02180-10
PMCID: PMC3067205  PMID: 21183636
2.  Comparison of Different Primer Sets for Use in Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis of Complex Bacterial Communities 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2004;70(10):6147-6156.
ITSF and ITSReub, constituting a new primer set designed for the amplification of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacers, have been compared with primer sets consisting of 1406F and 23Sr (M. M. Fisher and E. W. Triplett, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65:4630-4636, 1999) and S-D-Bact-1522-b-S-20 and L-D-Bact-132-a-A-18 (L. Ranjard et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:4479-4487, 2001), previously proposed for automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) of complex bacterial communities. An agricultural soil and a polluted soil, maize silage, goat milk, a small marble sample from the façade of the Certosa of Pavia (Pavia, Italy), and brine from a deep hypersaline anoxic basin in the Mediterranean Sea were analyzed with the three primer sets. The number of peaks in the ARISA profiles, the range of peak size (width of the profile), and the reproducibility of results were used as indices to evaluate the efficiency of the three primer sets. The overall data showed that ITSF and ITSReub generated the most informative (in term of peak number) and reproducible profiles and yielded a wider range of spacer sizes (134 to 1,387) than the other primer sets, which were limited in detecting long fragments. The minimum amount of DNA template and sensitivity in detection of minor DNA populations were evaluated with artificial mixtures of defined bacterial species. ITSF and ITSReub amplified all the bacteria at DNA template concentrations from 280 to 0.14 ng μl−1, while the other primer sets failed to detect the spacers of one or more bacterial strains. Although the primer set consisting of ITSF and ITSReub and that of S-D-Bact-1522-b-S-20 and L-D-Bact-132-a-A-18 showed similar sensitivities for the DNA of Allorhizobium undicula mixed with the DNA of other species, the S-D-Bact-1522-b-S-20 and L-D-Bact-132-a-A-18 primer set failed to detect the DNA of Pseudomonas stutzeri.
doi:10.1128/AEM.70.10.6147-6156.2004
PMCID: PMC522057  PMID: 15466561

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