Biogenesis of Medium-Chain-Length Polyhydroxyalkanoates

Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


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.


Synthetic Biology Pseudomonas Putida Cupriavidus Necator Synthetic Biology Tool Multiplex Automate Genomic Engineering 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research on polymer biotechnology in the laboratory of M. Auxiliadora Prieto is supported by funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreements number 633962 and 679050. We also acknowledge support from the Community of Madrid (P2013/MIT2807) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy (BIO201344878R, BIO2014-61515-EXP).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental BiologyCentro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Bioprocess Laboratory D-BSSEETH ZürichBaselSwitzerland

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