Saccharophagus degradans

From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource

A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Saccharophagus degradans


Higher order taxa

Bacteria; Proteobacteria; Gammaproteobacteria; Alteromonadales; Alteromonadaceae


Saccharophagus degradans 2-40

Description and significance

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why it is important enough to have its genome sequenced. Describe how and where it was isolated. Include a picture or two (with sources) if you can find them.

Genome structure

Saccharophagus degradans has a circular chromosome that is 5,057,531 bp long. There are 4,008 proten coding genes out of a total of 4,067. The genome also includes 50 structural RNAs (5). What originally set S. degradans apart from the Microbulbifer and Teredinibacter groups was that it’s G+C content was 45.8% as compared to the 57-59% and 49-51% of Microbulbifer and Teredinibacter bacteria respectively (1). So far there have been identified 180 open reading frames (ORF) that code for carbohydrases. There are also around 112 ORFs that contain catalytic and/or carbohydrate-binding modules (CBM) with specificity for plant-derived polysaccharides (3). There are no known plasmids associated with Saccharophagus degradans that have been identified at this point.

Cell structure and metabolism

Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Application to Biotechnology

The enzymes which allow S. degradans to break down 10 different CPs are constantly being isolated and studied. As the human population continues to grow, more pressure is being put on food production. As a result of the increased production, agricultural, aquacultural, and algalcultural wastes are starting to become serious problems. Cellulose, chitin, and agar are the major waste products. Using S. degradans as a powerful bioremediation tool may help curb the increase in waste products. Also, CPs can be hydrolyzed into usuable feedstock. For many developing countries that have severe shortages of feedstock, research is being made into harnessing S. degradans’ hydrolyzing power (6).

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 Rachel Larsen