Biodegradation and Rhodococcus--masters of catabolic versatility.

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306 Citations (Scopus)


The genus Rhodococcus is a very diverse group of bacteria that possesses the ability to degrade a large number of organic compounds, including some of the most difficult compounds with regard to recalcitrance and toxicity. They achieve this through their capacity to acquire a remarkable range of diverse catabolic genes and their robust cellular physiology. Rhodococcus appear to have adopted a strategy of hyperrecombination associated with a large genome. Notably, they harbour large linear plasmids that contribute to their catabolic diversity by acting as 'mass storage' for a large number of catabolic genes. In addition, there is increasing evidence that multiple pathways and gene homologues are present that further increase the catabolic versatility and efficiency of Rhodococcus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-290
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in biotechnology
Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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