, Volume 27, Issue 18, pp 1405-1410

Biosynthesis and Characterization of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3- hydroxyhexanoate) from Palm Oil Products in a Wautersia eutropha Mutant

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Palm kernel oil, palm olein, crude palm oil and palm acid oil were used for the synthesis of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) [P(3HB-co-3HHx)] by a mutant strain of Wautersia eutropha (formerly Ralstonia eutropha) harboring the Aeromonas caviae polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene. Palm kernel oil was an excellent carbon source for the production of cell biomass and P(3HB-co-3HHx). About 87% (w/w) of the cell dry weight as P(3HB-co-3HHx) was obtained using 5 g palm kernel oil/l. Gravimetric and microscopic analyses further confirmed the high PHA content in the recombinant cells. The molar fraction of 3HHx remained constant at 5 mol % regardless of the type and concentration of palm oil products used. The small amount of 3HHx units was confirmed by 13C NMR analysis. The number average molecular weight (M n) of the PHA copolymer produced from the various palm oil products ranged from 27 0000 to 46 0000 Da. The polydispersity was in the range of 2.6–3.9.