Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 867–872

Biosynthesis of poly(γ-glutamic acid) from l-glutamic acid, citric acid, and ammonium sulfate in Bacillus subtilis IFO3335


  • Masao Kunioka
    • National Institute of Materials and Chemical Research
  • Atsuo Goto
    • Mitsubishi Paper Mills LimitedTsukuba Research Laboratories
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology

DOI: 10.1007/BF00173990

Cite this article as:
Kunioka, M. & Goto, A. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (1994) 40: 867. doi:10.1007/BF00173990


Poly(γ-glutamic acid) (PGA) production in Bacillus subtilis IFO3335 was studied. When l-glutamic acid, citric acid, and ammonium sulfate were used as carbon and nitrogen sources, a large amount of PGA without a by-product such as a polysaccharide was produced. The time courses of cell growth, PGA, glutamic acid, and citric acid concentrations during cultivation were investigated. It was found that glutamic acid added to the medium was apparently not assimilated. It can be presumed that the glutamic acid unit in PGA is mainly produced from citric acid and ammonium sulfate. The PGA productivity was investigated at various concentrations of ammonium sulfate in the media, which caused the depression of cell growth, high productivity of PGA, and the production of PGA with a high relative molecular mass. The yield of PGA determined by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) reached approximately 20 g/l. This yield was the highest value for PGA production by B. subtilis IFO3335, suggesting that B. subtilis IFO3335 was a bacterium that could produce PGA effectively. Time courses relative to the molecular mass of PGA at various concentrations of ammonium sulfate were investigated. It was suggested that B. subtilis IFO3335 excreted a PGA degradation enzyme with the progress of cultivation and that PGA was degraded by this enzyme.

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© Springer-Verlag 1994