Development of a cost-effective production process for Halomonas levan
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Levan polysaccharide is an industrially important natural polymer with unique properties and diverse high-value applications. However, current bottlenecks associated with its large-scale production need to be overcome by innovative approaches leading to economically viable processes. Besides many mesophilic levan producers, halophilic Halomonas smyrnensis cultures hold distinctive industrial potential and, for the first time with this study, the advantage of halophilicity is used and conditions for non-sterile levan production were optimized. Levan productivity of Halomonas cultures in medium containing industrial sucrose from sugar beet and food industry by-product syrup, a total of ten sea, lake and rock salt samples from four natural salterns, as well as three different industrial-grade boron compounds were compared and the most suitable low-cost substitutes for sucrose, salt and boron were specified. Then, the effects of pH control, non-sterile conditions and different bioreactor modes (batch and fed-batch) were investigated. The development of a cost-effective production process was achieved with the highest yield (18.06 g/L) reported so far on this microbial system, as well as the highest theoretical bioconversion efficiency ever reported for levan-producing suspension cultures. Structural integrity and biocompatibility of the final product were also verified in vitro.
KeywordsExopolysaccharide Levan Halomonas smyrnensis Microbial bioprocess Cost-effective production
The authors greatly appreciate the technical support provided by Prof Mehmet S. Eroglu (Marmara University, Turkey) for the chemical characterization studies. This work was financially supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) (Grant number: 114M239).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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