Genetic Features and Regulation of n-Alkane Metabolism in Bacteria

  • Renata Moreno
  • Fernando RojoEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


Expression of the bacterial genes involved in the assimilation of alkanes is usually tightly regulated. Regulators responding to the presence of alkanes ensure that the alkane-degradation genes are induced only when these hydrocarbons are available to the cell. In microorganisms containing several sets of alkane degradation genes (each dealing with a particular kind of alkane), these regulators ensure their differential induction. In addition, the expression of alkane degradation pathways is commonly down-modulated via complex global regulation control systems that ensure that the corresponding genes are expressed only under appropriate physiological conditions or when no other preferred compound is available. Examples illustrating these specific and global regulation processes are presented.



Work in the author’s laboratory is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant BIO2015-66203-P; MINECO/FEDER) and the European Commission VII Framework Program (grant number 312139).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSICMadridSpain

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