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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2002 Jun 20;78(6):699-707.

Simultaneous production of polyhydroxyalkanoates and rhamnolipids by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501, Japan.


The feasibility of the simultaneous production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and rhamnolipids, as a novel approach to reduce their production costs, was demonstrated by the cultivation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa IFO3924. Fairly large amounts of PHAs and rhamnolipids were obtained from the bacterial cells and the culture supernatant, respectively. Decanoate was a more suitable carbon source than ethanol and glucose for the simultaneous production, although glucose was suitable for cell growth without an induction period under pH control. The kind of carbon source affected PHA monomer composition markedly and PHA molecular weight slightly. Monorhamnolipids and dirhamnolipids were included in the rhamnolipids extracted from the culture supernatant using decanoate, glucose, or ethanol as the carbon source. Both PHAs and rhamnolipids were synthesized after the growth phase. PHA content in the cell reached a maximum when the carbon source was exhausted. After exhaustion of the carbon source, PHA content decreased rapidly, but rhamnolipid synthesis, which followed PHA synthesis, continued. This resulted in a time lag for the attainment of maximum levels of PHAs and rhamnolipids. The reusability of the cells used in rhamnolipid production was evaluated in the repeated batch culture of P. aeruginosa IFO3924 for the simultaneous production of PHAs and rhamnolipids. High concentrations of rhamnolipids in the culture supernatant were attained at the end of both the first and second batch cultures. High PHA content was achieved in the resting cells that were finally harvested after the second batch. Simultaneous production of PHAs and rhamnolipids will enhance the availability of valuable biocatalysts of bacterial cells, and dispel the common belief that the production cost of PHAs accumulated intracellularly is almost impossible to become lower than that of cells themselves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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