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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 Jul;56(7):2093-8.

Production of poly-(beta-hydroxybutyric-co-beta-hydroxyvaleric) acids.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


Alcaligenes latus, Alcaligenes eutrophus, Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas pseudoflava, Pseudomonas cepacia, and Micrococcus halodenitrificans were found to accumulate poly-(beta-hydroxybutyric-co-beta-hydroxyvaleric) acid [P(HB-co-HV)] copolymer when supplied with glucose (or sucrose in the case of A. latus) and propionic acid under nitrogen-limited conditions. A fed-batch culture of A. eutrophus produced 24 g of poly-beta-hydroxybutyric acid (PHB) liter-1 under ammonium limitation conditions. When the glucose feed was replaced with glucose and propionic acid during the polymer accumulation phase, 17 g of P(HB-co-HV) liter-1 was produced. The P(HB-co-HV) contained 5.0 mol% beta-hydroxyvaleric acid (HV). Varying the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio at a dilution rate of 0.15 h-1 in a chemostat culture of A. eutrophus resulted in a maximum value of 33% (wt/wt) PHB in the biomass. In comparison, A. latus accumulated about 40% (wt/wt) PHB in chemostat culture under nitrogen-limited conditions at the same dilution rate. When propionic acid was added to the first stage of a two-stage chemostat, A. latus produced 43% (wt/wt) P(HB-co-HV) containing 18.5 mol% HV. In the second stage, the P(HB-co-HV) increased to 58% (wt/wt) with an HV content of 11 mol% without further addition of carbon substrate. The HV composition in P(HB-co-HV) was controlled by regulating the concentration of propionic acid in the feed. Poly-beta-hydroxyalkanoates containing a higher percentage of HV were produced when pentanoic acid replaced propionic acid.

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