Biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates co-polymer in E. coli using genes from Pseudomonas and Bacillus

Reeta Davis, P K Anilkumar, A Chandrashekar, T R Shamala
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 2008, 94 (2): 207-16
Expression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa genes PHA synthase1 (phaC1) and (R)-specific enoyl CoA hydratase1 (phaJ1) under a lacZ promoter was able to support production of a copolymer of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and medium chain length polyhydoxyalkanoates (mcl-PHA) in Escherichia coli. In order to improve the yield and quality of PHA, plasmid bearing the above genes was introduced into E. coli JC7623, harboring integrated beta-ketothiolase (phaA) and NADPH dependent-acetoacetyl CoA reductase (phaB) genes from a Bacillus sp. also driven by a lacZ promoter. The recombinant E. coli (JC7623ABC1J1) grown on various fatty acids along with glucose was found to produce 28-34% cellular dry weight of PHA. Gas chromatography and (1)H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance analysis of the polymer confirmed the ability of the strain to produce PHB-co-Hydroxy valerate (HV)-co-mcl-PHA copolymers. The ratio of short chain length (scl) to mcl-PHA varied from 78:22 to 18:82. Addition of acrylic acid, an inhibitor of beta-oxidation resulted in improved production (3-11% increase) of PHA copolymer. The combined use of enzymes from Bacillus sp. and Pseudomonas sp. for the production of scl-co-mcl PHA in E. coli is a novel approach and is being reported for the first time.

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