SUMMARY: A bacterium that utilized propane as a sole carbon source was isolated from soil and identified as a strain of Of the -alkanes tested (C--C) it grew only on propane, and it was not capable of growth on alkenes. The organism grew on most of the potential intermediates of propane metabolism and simultaneous adaptation studies showed that it could oxidize both terminal and sub-terminal intermediates. Assays of enzyme activities in cell-free extracts revealed elevated levels of enzymes of both terminal and sub-terminal pathways in propane-grown cells. The initial propane-specific oxygenase activity was measured by its ability to co-oxidize propene to epoxypropane. This oxygenase system was investigated in terms of its inhibitor profile and was compared with -alkane oxygenase systems described in the literature. On the basis of the comparison, the oxygenase appears to be of a type not previously reported.


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