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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biosynthesis of PHB tercopolymer by Bacillus cereus UW85.

AIMS: The study was attempted to determine the ability of a Gram-positive Bacillus cereus UW85 strain to biosynthesize poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) copolymers when epsilon-caprolactone, or epsilon-caprolactone and glucose, were used as carbon sources. METHODS AND RESULTS: Bacillus cereus was grown for 24 h under nitrogen-limited conditions in a mineral salts medium. Growth was monitored by measurement of turbidity. Glucose level was determined by the colorimetric anthrone METHOD: The epsilon-caprolactone concentration was determined by gas chromatography. The bacterial biopolymers were extracted with chloroform in a Soxhlet extractor and then characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and gel permeation chromatography. When epsilon-caprolactone was used as a carbon substrate, the bacterial strain produced tercopolymer with 3-hydroxybutyrate, 3-hydroxyvalerate and 6-hydroxyhexanoate units. However, when caprolactone and glucose were supplied together, only homopolymer of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) was produced. CONCLUSION: All tercopolymers isolated from B. cereus UW85 cells were obtained with yields up to 9% (w/w) and low number-average molecular weight compared with the homopolymer PHB. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Bacillus cereus UW85 produced tercopolymer with a low molecular weight from one substrate (epsilon-caprolactone) used as a carbon source. The results are significant for the potential future application of Bacillus biopolymers to bioplastics production.[1]


  1. Biosynthesis of PHB tercopolymer by Bacillus cereus UW85. Labuzek, S., Radecka, I. J. Appl. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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