From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource
Jump to: navigation, search
This student page has not been curated.

A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Paraburkholderia


Higher order taxa

Domain; Phylum; Class; Order; family [Others may be used. Use NCBI link to find]


NCBI: Taxonomy

Genus species

Description and significance

Paraburkholderia are largely known for their ability to degrade aromatic compounds and many hydrocarbons. Recent phylogenomic evidence has divided Paraburkholderia from Burkholderia (1). Some species of this genera have the ability to form root nodules that fix atmospheric nitrogen. The metabolic capabilities of Paraburkholderia has created notable interests in the biodegradation field, where the ability of these species of bacteria to break down pollutants in soil (1). There is special focus on the breakdown of PAHs, or organic pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons created from pollution.

Genome structure

There are currently around 50-60 available genomes for Paraburkholderia. Diverse metabolic activity stems from its rather large genome of 7-10 Mb. Common G+C content of many Paraburkholderia species is 60-62% (2). Genomic DNA from strain RP11T was a strain of interest and sequenced at the Cornell University Sequencing Facility. The DNA sequencing of each strain of this bacteria proved to show advantages of metabolic decomposition of aromatic compounds. RP11T had different genomic factors from its close relatives, as it encoded the greatest number of genes in RAST (Rapid Annotations using Subsystem Technologies) for the metabolism of aromatics along with a great number of oxidases for aromatic-degradation (1). Additionally, a high number of encoded oxidizing enzymes were recognized in some strains, where all Paraburkholderia encode for the capability to grow on 4-hydroxybenzoic acid.

Cell structure and metabolism

Paraburkholderia madseniana is a Gram-negative bacteria, motile, and non-sporulating rods of about 0.8 µm by 1.4 µm. This species is often seen as diplobacillus (2). Paraburkholderia has vast metabolic activities and can be described as: facultative anaerobes, facultative chemolithotrophs, acid-tolerant and alkalizing, metal-tolerant, mineral weathering and phosphate solubilizing, polyaromatic hydrocarbon and xenobiotic degrading, plant-growth promoting, and nitrogen-fixing (1). In large, the metabolic activity of major significance is the role of plant-derived aromatic decomposition based on evidence of degradation of tannins and phenolics. Soil isolates have shown the ability to degrade PAH and halogenated phenols which indicates a diverse role in aromatic soil degradation as a whole. Paraburkholderia have been indicated as a strong contributor to affect the decomposition rate in soil where it is present due to this vast metabolic activity seen by its isolates.


Habitat; symbiosis; contributions to the environment.

Application to Biotechnology

Describe the potential to use this organism relevant to biotechnology, i.e. genetic engineering, bioremediation, production of enzymes and/or compounds, drugs, etc.

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required


[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

Edited by student of Dr. Charlotte Berkes