G. oxydans is used in the production of vitamin C, the antidiabetic drug Miglitol, flavoring chemicals, and other industrial products. It also serves as a sensor system for the detection of alcohols, sugars, and polyols. Naturally, the bacterium occurs on flowers and fruits. It is also found in spoiled wines, beers, and soft drinks, where it causes off-flavors. G. oxydans is able to incompletely oxidize a variety of carbohydrates and alcohols in a process called oxidative fermentation.
The genome of G. oxydans 621H, published online this week in Nature Biotechnology, consists of 2.7 million base pairs and contains 2,400 open reading frames. In addition, the bacterium possesses five plasmids with 232 open reading frames.