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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Nov;35(11):1205-15. doi: 10.1007/s10295-008-0427-5. Epub 2008 Aug 20.

Characterization of new isolated Ralstonia eutropha strain A-04 and kinetic study of biodegradable copolyester poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) production.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai, Patumwan, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand. suchada.cha@chula.ac.th


A new isolated bacterial strain A-04 capable of producing high content of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) was morphologically and taxonomically identified based on biochemical tests and 16S rRNA gene analysis. The isolate is a member of the genus Ralstonia and close to Ralstonia eutropha. Hence, this study has led to the finding of a new and unexplored R. eutropha strain A-04 capable of producing PHAs with reasonable yield. The kinetic study of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-4HB)] production by the R. eutropha strain A-04 was examined using butyric acid and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid as carbon sources. Effects of substrate ratio and mole ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C/N) on kinetic parameters were investigated in shake flask fed-batch cultivation. When C/N was 200, that is, nitrogen deficient condition, the specific production rate of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) showed the highest value, whereas when C/N was in the range between 4 and 20, the maximum specific production rate of 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB) was obtained. Thus, the synthesis of 3HB was growth-limited production under nitrogen-deficient condition, whereas the synthesis of 4HB was growth-associated production under nitrogen-sufficient condition. The mole fraction of 4HB units increased proportionally as the ratio of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in the feed medium increased at any value of C/N ratio. Based on these kinetic studies, a simple strategy to improve P(3HB-co-4HB) production in shake flask fed-batch cultivation was investigated using C/N and substrate feeding ratio as manipulating variable, and was successfully proved by the experiments.

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