Although bromine has no known essential biological function, bromine ions are found in significant quantities in seawater and more than 1900 biogenic organobromine compounds have been discovered (reviewed by Gribble, 2003). Biosynthesis of organobromine compounds is usually catalyzed by haloperoxidases, but halogenating (brominating or chlorinating) flavin reductases have been found in some microorganisms (reviewed by Van Pee and Unversucht, 2003). Chemically synthesized organobromine compounds are used in industry and agriculture and are of concern as environmental pollutants. The biodegradation of some organobromine compounds has been studied and many of the pathways include enzyme-catalyzed debromination steps (reviewed by Janssen et al, 2001). Methyl transferases enable some methylotrophic bacteria to grow using methylbromide as a sole carbon and energy source (reviewed by McDonald et al, 2002).

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McDonald IR, Warner KL, McAnulla C, Woodall CA, Oremland RS, Murrell JC. A review of bacterial methyl halide degradation: biochemistry, genetics, and molecular ecology. Environ. Microbiol. 2002;4:193-203.


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