P(3HB) biopolymers

Bill Keevil C.W.Keevil at soton.ac.uk
Mon Jul 2 03:40:15 EST 2001


I do not fully understand the question - do you want to know the benefits to
the bacterium or to a company wanting to produce commercially useful
polymers?


For the bacterium, biopolymer production is important as a carbon and energy
reserve, such as intracellular glycogen, and extracellular polymers may
participate in attachment of a cell to substrata or consolidation of biofilm
structure, such as glucans, fructans and alginates.  PHB permits
environmental species to survive months, sometimes years, in carbon depleted
environments.


Intracellular PHB production is also an important electron sink which is
particularly useful for bacteria growing in low oxygen/redox environments
(e.g. biofilm microenvironments) where respiratory capacity might not be
sufficient to dissipate excess electrons generated from general metabolism.


See for example:


James, B.W., Mauchline, W.S., Dennis, P.J., Wait, R. and Keevil, C.W.
(1999).  Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate in Legionella pneumophila, an energy source
for survival in low nutrient environments.  Applied & Environmental
Microbiology, 65, 822-827.


Bill Keevil



Prof C. William Keevil
School of Biological Sciences
Biomedical Sciences Building
University of Southampton
Bassett Crescent East
Southampton SO16 7PX
UK


Office tel: 44 (0) 2380 594726
Lab tel:                        594257
     fax:                594459


cwk at soton.ac.uk



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-biofilms at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
[mailto:owner-biofilms at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk]On Behalf Of "Per Mikkelsen"
Sent: 01 July 2001 22:55
To: biofilms at net.bio.net
Subject: P(3HB) biopolymers


Does anyone know anything about bioploymer-production. Especially concerning
P(3HB) production with R. eutropha.
What is the economical status, does it pay to produce P(3HB) from bacteria?
What is the status on GM-plants as P(3HB).
Is P(3HB) economical most reasonable polymer to produce or are co-polymers
better, cheaper or easier to use industrially?



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