Utilisation of Alicyclic Compounds by Soil Bacteria
Alicyclic compounds are recalcitrant hydrocarbons, they are a major component of crude oil and their fraction in the oil may be as high as 37%. They are used as industrial chemicals and are obtained via extraction from petroleum or by synthesis. A number of alicyclic compounds are, in addition to the petrogenic source, continually synthesized biologically as constituents of plants and microorganisms. Despite the wide occurrence of these compounds in nature, very little works had been carried out on their utilization by microorganisms. Species of Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Arthrobacter and Nocardia able to utilize cyclohexanone as sole carbon source were isolated from soil by enrichment technique. The isolates also grew on cyclohexanol, succinic and acetic acids as sole carbon sources. DNA profiles of the organisms did not reveal the presence of any plasmid. Growth in acriflavin-supplemented broth did not result in loss of ability to utilize the compounds. The genetic control of alicyclic metabolism in these organisms appeared to be chromosomal in nature. [Nature and Science. 2006;4(3):65-68].