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J Appl Microbiol. 2008 Feb;104(2):420-8. Epub 2007 Sep 21.

Utilization of agricultural residues for poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) production by Halomonas boliviensis LC1.

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  • 1Department of Biotechnology, Centre for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.



Utilization of cheap and readily available agricultural residues as cheap carbon sources for poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) production by Halomonas boliviensis.


Wheat bran was hydrolysed by a crude enzyme preparation from Aspergillus oryzae NM1 to provide a mixture of reducing sugars composed mainly of glucose, mannose, xylose and arabinose. Growth of H. boliviensis using a mixture of glucose (0.75% w/v) and xylose (0.25% w/v) in the medium led to a PHB content and concentration of 45 wt% and 1 g l(-1), respectively, after 30 h. A similar PHB concentration was attained when H. boliviensis was grown on wheat bran hydrolysate but with a lower PHB content, 34 wt%. In a batch cultivation mode in a fermentor, using 1.8% (w/v) reducing sugars, the maximum PHB accumulation by H. boliviensis was attained in 20 h, but was reduced to about 30 wt%. By adding butyric acid (0.8% v/v), sodium acetate (0.8% w/v) and decreasing the reducing sugars concentration to 1 x 0% w/v in the medium, PHB accumulation and concentration were increased to 50 wt% and 4 g l(-1), respectively, after 20 h. Butyric acid and sodium acetate for PHB production could also be provided by anaerobic digestion of solid potato waste.


Cheap and readily available agricultural residues can be used as substrates to produce PHB. The production of PHB by H. boliviensis using wheat bran hydrolysate as source of carbon is expected to reduce the production cost and motivates further studies.


Large-scale commercial utilization of PHB is mainly hampered by its high production cost. Carbon source for PHB production accounts up to 50% of the total production costs. Thus, the use of waste agricultural residues can substantially reduce the substrate cost (and in turn even provide value to the waste), and can downsize the production costs. This improves the market competitiveness. Studies on PHB production by moderate halophiles were recently initiated with H. boliviensis and findings show that it has potential for commercial exploitation. PHB production by H. boliviensis using wheat bran and potato waste is hence interesting.

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