Functional Genomics of Metal-Reducing Microbes Degrading Hydrocarbons

Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


The anaerobic oxidation of petroleum hydrocarbons can be coupled to the reduction of metals. At contaminated subsurface sites, this phenomenon will accelerate the removal of pollutants and will have an important influence on biogeochemical cycles. Due to its abundance, iron is the most prominent metallic terminal electron acceptor involved in hydrocarbon degradation followed by manganese. Dissimilatory metal-reducing microbes (DMRM) capable of oxidizing either monocyclic aromatic or polycyclic hydrocarbons are phylogenetically diverse with representatives from bacteria as well as from archaea. It has been shown that the monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene and the polyaromatic hydrocarbons naphthalene, 1-methylnaphthalene, and 2-methylnaphtalene can be degraded by metal-reducing enrichment cultures or pure cultures. In recent years, significant breakthroughs have been made in the field of functional genomics for the characterization of the metabolic pathways, enzymes, and genes participating to hydrocarbons degradation by metal-reducing microbes. Here, we present an updated portrait of the monocyclic aromatic and polycyclic hydrocarbons metabolism of DMRM.



This work is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Life ScienceWuhan University of TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Bioelectrochemical Systems, The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for BiosustainablityTechnical University of DenmarkHørsholmDenmark

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