Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 103–106 | Cite as

Composition of poly-β-hydroxyalkanoate from Syntrophomonas wolfei grown on unsaturated fatty acid substrates

  • Dale A. Amos
  • Michael J. McInerney
Original Papers


Poly-β-hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) from crotonate-grown cultures of Syntrophomonas wolfei contained only the d-isomer of β-hydroxybutyrate. The PHA from cultures grown with trans-2-pentenoate or one of several hexenoates as the substrate also contained small amounts (5%) of β-hydroxypentanoate or β-hydroxyhexanoate, respectively. Thus, some PHA was synthesized without cleavage of the carbon skeleton of the substrate, but the predominant route for PHA synthesis was by the condensation and subsequent reduction of acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA). The ratio of the β-hydroxypentanoate to the β-hydroxybutyrate in PHA in pentenoate-grown cultures increased immediately after inoculation and then decreased as the amount of the β-hydroxybutyrate in PHA increased. The amount of β-hydroxypentanoate in the PHA did not markedly change throughout the remainder of growth. These data indicated that the unbroken carbon-chain was used for polymer production only in the early stages of growth and, later, polymer synthesis occurred by the condensation and reduction of acetyl-CoA molecules.

Key words

Poly-β-hydroxyalkanoate Anaerobic syntrophic bacteria Syntrophomonas Unsaturated fatty acids 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. AmosDA, McInerneyMJ (1989) Poly-β-hydroxyalkanoate in Syntrophomonas wolfei. Arch Microbiol 152:172–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. AmosDA, McInerneyMJ (1990) Growth of Syntrophomonas wolfei with different unsaturated fatty acids. Arch Microbiol 155: 31–36Google Scholar
  3. BeatyPS, McInerneyMJ (1987) Growth of Syntrophomonas wolfei in pure culture with crotonate. Arch Microbiol 147:389–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BloembergenS, HoldenDA, HamerGK, BluhmTL, MarchessaultRH (1986) Studies of the composition and crystallinity of bacterial poly(β-hydroxybutyrate-co-β-hydroxyvalerate). Macromolecules 19:2865–2871CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. BluhmTL, HamerGK, MarchessaultRH, FyfeCA, VereginRP (1986) Isodimorphism in bacterial poly(β-hydroxybutyrate-co-β-hydroxyvalerate). Macromolecules 19:2871–2876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DawesEA, SeniorPJ (1973) The role and regulation of energy reserve polymers in microorganisms. Adv Microbiol Physiol 10:135–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DoiY, KuniokaM, NakamuraY, SogaK (1986) Biosynthesis of polyesters by Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 from 13C-labelled acetate and propionate. Macromolecules 20:2988–2991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. DoiY, TamakiA, KuniokaM, SogaK (1988) Production of copolyesters of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate by Alcaligenes eutrophus from butyric and pentanoic acids. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 28:330–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FindlayRH, WhiteDC (1983) Polymeric beta-hydroxyalkanoates from environmental samples and Bacillus megaterium. Appl Environ Microbiol 45:71–78PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. HerronJS, KingJD, WhiteDC (1978) Recovery of poly-β-hydroxybutyrate from estuarine microflora. Appl Environ Microbiol 35:251–257PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. HolmesPA (1985) Applications of PHB: a microbially produced biodegradable thermoplastic. Phys Technol 16:32–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. KarrDB, WatersJK, EmerichDW (1983) Analysis of poly-β-hydroxybutyrate in Rhizobium japonicum bacteroides by ionexclusion high-pressure liquid chromatography and UV detection. Appl Environ Microbiol 46:1339–1344PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. McInerneyMJ, BryantMP, PfennigN (1979) Anaerobic bacterium that degrades fatty acids in syntrophic association with methanogens. Arch Microbiol 122:129–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McInerneyMJ, BryantMP, HespellRB, CostertonJW (1981) Syntrophomonas wolfei gen. nov., sp. nov., an anaerobic, syntrophic, fatty acid-oxidizing bacterium. Appl Environ Microbiol 41:1029–1039PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. OwenAJ (1985) Some dynamic mechanical properties of microbially produced poly-β-hydroxybutyrate/β-hydroxyvalerate copolymers. Colloid Polymer Sci 263:799–803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. RyhageR, StenhagenE (1960) Mass spectrometric studies. VI. Methyl esters of normal chain, oxo, hydroxy, methoxy, epoxy acids. Ark Kemi 37:545–574Google Scholar
  17. WallenLL, RohwedderWK (1974) Poly-beta-hydroxyalkanoate from activated sludge. Environ Sci Tech 8:576–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. WoffordNQ, BeatyPS, McInerneyMJ (1986) Preparation of cellfree extracts and the enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism in Syntrophomonas wolfei. J Bacteriol 167:179–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale A. Amos
    • 1
  • Michael J. McInerney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany and MicrobiologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

Personalised recommendations