Journal of Industrial Microbiology

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 73-81

First online:

Screening of microbial esterases for asymmetric hydrolysis of 2-ethylhexyl butyrate

  • Ching T. HouAffiliated withOil Chemical Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture

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A pH indicator agar plate method was used to screen for esterase activities for hydrolysis of 2-ethylhexyl butyrate. Seven hundred and fifty-seven selected microbial cultures, including 325 bacteria, and 432 yeasts and actinomycetes from the ARS Culture, Collection, were screened. Among them, 62 cultures hydrolyzed 2-ethylhexyl butyrate. Of these strains only 17 showed lipase activity on a rhodamine B lipase screen. The reaction products, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol andn-butyric acid were confirmed by gas-liquid chromatography (GC) and GC/MS analyses. The yield of 2-ethyl-1-hexanol varied depending on the strains of the microorganisms, with the highest yield at 79.1% by a strain ofPseudomonas myxogenes Product analyses with a cyclodextrin GC chiral column showed that two strains ofPseudomonas produced, greater than 80% enantiomeric excess of S(+)-2-ethyl-1-hexanol.

Key words

Esterase Ethylhexyl butyrate Hydrolytic stereospecificity