Bioconversions of aliphatic compounds by Pseudomonas oleovorans in multiphase bioreactors: background and economic potential

Trends Biotechnol. 1990 Feb;8(2):46-52. doi: 10.1016/0167-7799(90)90133-i.


Pseudomonas oleovorans can grow on linear alkanes and alkenes in the hexane to dodecane range by virtue of enzymes encoded by the alk genes. By introducing selected alk genes into Pseudomonas strains and by supplying alkanes in the growth medium as a bulk liquid phase, specific alkane oxidation products can be accumulated in the alkane phase. We review the genetics and enzymology of the alk system and the potential of bioconversions in two-liquid-phase bioreactors, and suggest that such systems might eventually allow the biotechnological production of intermediate value compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alkanes / metabolism*
  • Alkenes / metabolism*
  • Biotechnology
  • Fermentation
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plasmids
  • Pseudomonas / enzymology*
  • Pseudomonas / genetics
  • Pseudomonas / growth & development
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases