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Background: Rhodococci are bacteria able to degrade a wide range of hydrocarbons, including the alkanes present in crude oil, due to alk genes in their genomes. Findings: Genome sequencing of DNA from Rhodococcus erythropolis strain 4 (obtained from a deep-water bitumen mound) revealed four alk genes, and the predicted amino acid sequences coded by these genes were highly conserved, having sections up to 11 amino acid residues. Conclusions: Obtained four genes from Rhodococcus erythropolis were similar to corresponding genes from other bacteria collected from other environments, including marine sources. This indicated a large-scale horizontal alk gene transfer between bacteria from different subgenera.
Likhoshvay, A., Lomakina, A., & Grachev, M. (2014). The complete alk sequences of Rhodococcus erythropolis from Lake Baikal. SpringerPlus, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-3-621