Production of poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) in a recombinant Escherichia coli strain

S Slater, T Gallaher, D Dennis
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 1992, 58 (4): 1089-94
An Escherichia coli strain has been constructed that produces the copolymer poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) P(HB-co-HV). This has been accomplished by placing the PHB biosynthetic genes from Alcaligenes eutrophus into an E. coli fadR atoC(Con) mutant and culturing the strain in M9 minimal medium containing glucose and propionate. 3-Hydroxyvalerate incorporation is absolutely dependent on the presence of both glucose and propionate, and 3-hydroxybutyrate-3-hydroxyvalerate ratios in the copolymer can be manipulated by altering the propionate concentration and/or the glucose concentration in the culture. P(HB-co-HV) production can be accomplished by using a wide variety of feeding regimens, but the most efficient is to allow the culture to grow to late log phase in minimal medium containing acetate and then add glucose and propionate to initiate copolymer production. A broad range of propionate concentrations can be used in the culture to stimulate 3-hydroxyvalerate incorporation; however, the most efficient utilization of propionate occurs at concentrations below 10 mM. 3-Hydroxyvalerate molar percentages in the copolymer are relatively constant over the course of growth. The copolymer has been purified and confirmed to be P(HB-co-HV) by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and differential scanning calorimetry.

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