Generation of Products by Methanotrophs

  • I. J. Higgins
  • D. J. Best
  • D. Scott
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series


It has been recognized for many years that obligate methanotrophs, although requiring C1 compounds for growth, are nevertheless capable of effecting the partial oxidation of several simple methane analogues (short chain alkanes and alkenes) to products which accumulate extracellularly (64). Indeed, the work of Foster and his colleagues (29,30) represents one of the early classical examples of cooxidation. It has generally been assumed that these oxidations are a result of the lack of specificity of enzymes involved in the oxidation of methane to carbon dioxide. The findings of Dalton and his colleagues (7,49) that partially purified methane monooxygenase (MMO) preparations oxygenate a wide range of organic compounds, supported this hypothesis. The extraordinary wide range of oxidations catalyzed by this enzyme in some species is, however, surprising; in addition to alkanes and alkenes, aromatic, alicyclic and heterocyclic compounds are oxidized.


Methyl Ketone Methane Monooxygenase Methylotrophic Bacterium Methanol Dehydrogenase Methylococcus Capsulatus 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. J. Higgins
    • 1
  • D. J. Best
    • 1
  • D. Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Biotechnology UnitCranfield Institute of TechnologyCranfield, BedfordUK

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