Living Reference Work Entry

Biogenesis of Fatty Acids, Lipids and Membranes

Part of the series Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology pp 1-25

Date: Latest Version

Biogenesis of Medium-Chain-Length Polyhydroxyalkanoates

  • Ryan KniewelAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Biology, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
  • , Olga Revelles LopezAffiliated withBioprocess Laboratory D-BSSE, ETH Zürich
  • , M. Auxiliadora PrietoAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Biology, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) Email author 

Abstract

Medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHA) are biotechnologically useful natural products found in many bacteria. This biopolymer functions as a carbon and energy storage reservoir in cells but has physical and mechanical properties that make it a promising bioplastic with applications ranging from adhesives to medical implants. Therefore, there is much interest in understanding the biology of mcl-PHA synthesis and metabolism. Increased knowledge of PHA biology serves as a foundation for the bioengineering of PHA and its eventual use as a biologically derived product. This chapter covers the state of knowledge on mcl-PHA, including its synthesis and its central role in cellular metabolism. Moreover, this chapter discusses methods for bioengineering mcl-PHA production in bacteria as well as synthetic biology methods for its study and production in the natural mcl-PHA producer, Pseudomonas putida.