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J Biotechnol. 2002 Aug 7;97(2):125-31.

Effects of culture conditions on the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates by Azotobacter chroococcum H23 in media containing a high concentration of alpechín (wastewater from olive oil mills) as primary carbon source.

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  • 1Group of Environmental Microbiology, Instituto del Agua, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.


Large amounts of homopolymers containing beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) and copolymers containing beta-hydroxyvalerate (P[HB-co-HV]) are produced by Azotobacter chroococcum strain H23 when growing in culture media amended with alpechín (wastewater from olive oil mills) as the sole carbon source. Copolymer was formed when valerate (pentanoate) was added as a precursor to the alpechín medium, but it was not formed with the addition of propionate as a precursor. A. chroococcum formed homo- and copolymers of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) up to 80% of the cell dry weight, when grown on NH(4)(+)-medium supplemented with 60% (v/v) alpechín, after 48 h of incubation at 100 rev min(-1) and 30 degrees C. Production of PHAs by strain H23 using alpechín looks promising, as the use of a cheap substrate for the production of these materials is essential if bioplastics are to become competitive products.

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