Pathways for the Degradation of Fatty Acids in Bacteria

  • Lorena Jimenez-DiazEmail author
  • Antonio Caballero
  • Ana Segura
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


The metabolism of fatty acids is of central importance to wide range of microbes, and the related metabolic pathways have been intensely studied for decades. Fatty acid degradation occurs through the well-characterized β-oxidation cycle and yields acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA), which is further metabolized to obtain energy and precursors for cellular biosynthesis. As demand for sustainable biofuels and bioplastics grows, there is ever-increasing interest in fatty acid flux and related genomic bacterial diversity, which is opening avenues to exciting new biotechnological applications. In this chapter, we describe the steps involved in bacterial fatty acid degradation, with an emphasis on the latest advancements in the determination of enzymatic structures and characterization of novel fatty acid degradation enzymes. Finally, we briefly discuss the relevance of fatty acid degradation to several industrial applications.



This work was funded by Abengoa Research.

We thank Ben Pakuts for editing the manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorena Jimenez-Diaz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonio Caballero
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Segura
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Abengoa ResearchSevillaSpain
  2. 2.BacmineTres CantosSpain
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Protection, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasEstación Experimental del ZaidínGranadaSpain

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