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Thursday, 22 February 2018
Polyhydroxyalkanoates PDF Print
*       Polyhydroxyalkanoates Production by Chromobacterium violaceum 

C. violaceum has the capability to accumulate polyesters such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). PHAs are biopolymers synthesized by many bacteria as an intracellular carbon and energy storage compound. They are accumulated as granules inside the cell under unfavorable growth conditions in the presence of excess carbon source and when growth is limited by another nutrient (e.g., nitrogen, phosphate or sulphur). PHAs reveal interesting properties such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, and interesting physical and material properties, such as high molecular weights, thermoplastic and/or elastomeric features, and low melting points. These polymers are bio/environmentally acceptable materials that can be used to replace conventional petrochemical-based plastics in the packaging, medicine, pharmacy, agriculture and food industries. For industrial applications, however, the high manufacturing cost needs to be reduced.

The establishment of efficient production systems of PHA with the desired properties using low cost substrates, super producer strains or genetic manipulated bacteria, and fermentation strategies, can reduce production costs. At present, more than 130 different PHAs are known to be constituents of many bacterial storage polyesters. The most abundant is poly-3-hydroxybutyric acid (P(3HB)). Despite the high number of different PHAs, only PHB and copolymers of 3HB and 3-hydroxyvaleric acid (3HV) have been commercialized. As an interesting feature, C. violaceum is able to produce the copolymer poly-(3-hydroxybutirate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (P(3HB-co-3HV). The incorporation of 3HV molecules improves the properties of biopolymers, like their thermal capabilities and the degree of crystallinity. Our main objective is to study the PHA production by C. violaceum using glucose as substrate and acetate and propionate as supplements. Metabolic strategies are necessary to improve incorporation of PHAs by this microorganism. The biopolymer P(3HB-co-3HV) produced in C. violaceum has shown superficial and structural properties that are promising characteristics for potential biomedical application, such as scaffolds for tissue engineering and drug delivering systems.
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