, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 369-374
Date: 15 Aug 2006

Synthesis of Short-chain-length/Medium-chain-length Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Copolymers in Peroxisome of the Transgenic Arabidopsis Thaliana Harboring the PHA Synthase Gene from Pseudomonas sp. 61-3

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In this paper, the photosynthetic production of short-chain-length/medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) copolymers is reported. The wild-type and highly active doubly mutated PHA synthase 1 (S325T/Q481K, abbreviated ST/QK) genes from Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 were introduced into Arabidopsis thaliana. Peroxisome targeting signal 1 (PTS1) was used to target PHA synthases into the peroxisome to synthesize PHA from the intermediates of the β-oxidation pathway. The transgenic Arabidopsis produced PHA copolymers consisting of 40–57 mol% 3-hydroxybutyrate, 21–49 mol% 3-hydroxyvalerate, 8–18 mol% 3-hydroxyhexanoate, and 2–8 mol% 3-hydroxyoctanoate. The maximum PHA contents were 220μ g/g cell dry weight (cdw) in leaves, and 36μ g/g cdw in stems, respectively. The expression of the ST/QK mutated PHA synthase in leaves gene did not lead to significant difference in PHA content and monomer composition of PHAs, compared to the wild-type PHA synthase gene, suggesting that the supply of monomers may be a rate-determining step of PHA biosynthesis in the peroxisome. However, in stems, there were significant differences dependent on whether the wild-type or ST/QK mutated PHA synthase was expressed. These results suggest that tissue-specific monomer availability is important in determining the final mol% composition of PHA copolymers produced by the peroxisome in plants.