Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 417–428 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of novel 1,3-propanediol-producing Lactobacillus panis PM1 from bioethanol thin stillage

  • Nurul H. Khan
  • Tae Sun Kang
  • Douglas A. S. Grahame
  • Monique C. Haakensen
  • Kornsulee Ratanapariyanuch
  • Martin J. Reaney
  • Darren R. Korber
  • Takuji TanakaEmail author
Bioenergy and biofuels


Conversion of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) is an attractive option to increase the economic efficiency of the biofuel industry. A bacterial strain that produced 1,3-PDO in the presence of glycerol was isolated from thin stillage, the fermentation residue of bioethanol production. This 1,3-PDO-producing organism was identified as Lactobacillus panis through biochemical characteristics and by 16S rRNA sequencing. Characterization of the L. panis strain hereafter designated as PM1 revealed it was an aerotolerant acidophilic anaerobe able to grow over a wide range of temperatures; tolerant to high concentrations of sodium chloride, ethanol, acetic acid, and lactic acid; and resistant to many common antibiotics. L. panis PM1 could utilize glucose, lactose, galactose, maltose, xylose, and arabinose, but could not grow on sucrose or fructose. Production of 1,3-PDO by L. panis PM1 occurred only when glucose was available as the carbon source in the absence of oxygen. These metabolic characteristics strongly suggested NADH recycling for glucose metabolism is achieved through 1,3-PDO production by this strain. These characteristics classified L. panis PM1 within the group III heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria, which includes the well-characterized 1,3-PDO-producing strain, Lactobacillus reuteri. Metabolite production profiles showed that L. panis PM1 produced considerable amounts of succinic acid (~11–12 mM) from normal MRS medium, which distinguishes this strain from L. reuteri strains.


Glycerol Biofuel waste Value-added product Fermentation Glucose metabolism NADH recycling 



We acknowledge the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund and Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for supporting this research. We thank Pound-Maker Agventures Ltd. for thin stillage samples. We are obliged to Jori Harrison for her assistance in the laboratory experiments. Ms. Sylvia Yada is also acknowledged for her careful editorial advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nurul H. Khan
    • 1
  • Tae Sun Kang
    • 1
  • Douglas A. S. Grahame
    • 1
  • Monique C. Haakensen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kornsulee Ratanapariyanuch
    • 1
  • Martin J. Reaney
    • 2
  • Darren R. Korber
    • 1
  • Takuji Tanaka
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences, College of Agriculture and BioresourcesUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and BioresourcesUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Contango Strategies LtdSaskatoonCanada

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