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Abstract


Research Institute for Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms, Moscow, 113545 Russia
 
We  report the 6,281Mbp genome sequence of the CN-compound degrader Rhodococcus rhodochrous strain M8G, isolated from nitrile contaminated soil. This sequence might provide useful information for subsequent studies of the nitrile and amide metabolism in migroorganisms. 
Nitriles, or organocyanides (R–CN), are widely spread in nature. They are synthesized by plants and serve as precursors of hormones (phenylacetonitrile), storage compounds (cyanoglycosides and cyanolipids), etc (1). Synthetic nitriles are widely employed in organic synthesis as precursors of various amides and acids. The conventional chemical hydrolysis of nitriles requires severe reaction conditions (acidic or alkaline pH and temperature above 100°C) and is accompanied by the formation of undesired byproducts and large amounts of waste. An alternative to this process is biocatalytic nitrile hydrolysis, which takes place under mild conditions (neutral pH and room temperature), selectively involves only nitrile groups, and is in some cases stereoselective and/or regioselective, which is particularly significant in the synthesis of bio logically active compounds. Over ten catalytic processes involving nitrile-hydrolyzing enzymes have already been commercialized to date (2). Rhodococcus rhodochrous M8G was isolated from nitrile contaminated soil. It can degrade a broad range of different nitriles, amides and carboxylic acids (3). To obtain more data on the mechanism of action of nitrile metabolism enzymes, their properties, and their use in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries analysis of Rh. rh. M8G  genome sequence was carried out.