Problems of Solventogenicity, Solvent Tolerance: An Introduction
Many organic solvents are toxic to prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. This general toxicity mainly derives from their ability to preferentially partition into cell membranes, a process that finally can impair their normal functioning. However, multiple microorganisms have evolved different strategies to overcome the effects of toxicity. Thus, the mechanisms of tolerance in Gram-negative bacteria are the result of a multifactorial process that involves a set of changes at both physiological and gene expression levels. These changes include the alteration in the composition of cell membranes to reduce their permeability, the activation of general stress responses, or the induction of efflux pumps and catabolic pathways. The evaluation of these solvent tolerance strategies may lay the basis for the development of effective in situ and ex situ bacteria-based biodegradation strategies.
Miguel A. Matilla was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness Postdoctoral Research Program, Juan de la Cierva (JCI-2012-11815).
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