Effects of pH, temperature and salinity on P3HB synthesis culturing the marine Rhodovulum sulfidophilum DSM-1374

  • Pietro CarlozziEmail author
  • Tiziana Di Lorenzo
  • Demetrios F. Ghanotakis
  • Eleftherios Touloupakis
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Rhodovulum sulfidophilum DSM-1374 is a potential producer of polyester when growing in phototrophic conditions. The present study investigated on a polyester product (P3HB) by culturing Rhodovulum sulfidophilum DSM-1374 in two different photobioreactors (PBR-1 and PBR-2) both with 4-L working volumes. PBR-1 is equipped with an internal rotor having 4 paddles to mix the bacterial culture while PBR-2 has an internal coil-shaped rotor. After selecting PBR-1, which best performed in the preliminary experiment, the effect of different stressing growth conditions as pH (7.0, 8.0, and 9.0), temperature (25, 30, and 35 °C), and medium salinity (1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5%) were tested. When the pH of the culture was set to 8.0, the capability of the bacterium to synthetize the polyester increased significantly reaching a concentration of 412 mg (P3HB)/L; the increase of the pH at 9.0 caused a reduction of the P3HB concentration in the culture. The medium salinity of 4.5% was the best stress-growth condition to reach the highest concentration of polyester in the culture (820 ± 50 mg (P3HB)/L) with a P3HB mass fraction in the dry biomass of 33 ± 1.5%. Stresses caused by culture temperature are another potential parameter that could increase the synthesis of P3HB.


Photobioreactors Rhodovulum sulfidophilum DSM-1374 Polyhydroxyalkanoate Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) Salinity 



The authors would like to thank Marco De Vito (CNR-ISE) for the support in the analysis of samples.

Funding information

This study was funded by the Regione Toscana, Italy, with the Project “ROBO-IMPLANT,” Bando FAS Salute 2014 (grant number 13299).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2020_10352_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (182 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 181 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute on Terrestrial EcosystemsNational Research CouncilSesto FiorentinoItaly
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece

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