Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 121-126

First online:

Fermentation of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol by Klebsiella and Citrobacter strains

  • Thomas HomannAffiliated withGBF-Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH
  • , Carmen TagAffiliated withGBF-Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH
  • , Hanno BieblAffiliated withGBF-Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH
  • , Wolf-Dieter DeckwerAffiliated withGBF-Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH
  • , Bernhard SchinkAffiliated withLehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie I, Universität Tübingen

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Glycerol-fermenting anaerobes were enriched with glycerol at low and high concentrations in order to obtain strains that produce 1,3-propanediol. Six isolates were selected for more detailed characterization; four of them were identified as Citrobacter freundii, one as Klebsiella oxytoca and one as K. pneumoniae. The Citrobacter strains formed 1.3-propanediol and acetate and almost no by-products, while the Klebsiella strains produced varying amounts of ethanol in addition and accordingly less 1,3-propanediol. Enterobacterial strains of the genera Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and Citrobacter from culture collections showed similar product patterns except for one group which formed limited amounts of ethanol, but no propanediol. Seven strains were grown in pH-controlled batch cultures to determine the parameters necessary to evaluate their capacity for 1,3-propanediol production. K. pneumoniae DSM 2026 exhibited the highest final concentration (61 g/l) and the best productivity (1.7 g/l h) whereas C. freundii Zu and K2 achieved only 35 g/l and 1.4 g/l h, respectively. The Citrobacter strains on the other hand gave somewhat better yields which were very close to the theoretical optimum of 65 mol %.