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Methyl-branched poly(hydroxyalkanoate) biosynthesis from 13-methyltetradecanoic acid and mixed isostearic acid isomer substrates

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Abstract

Pseudomonas resinovorans, a known medium-chain-length (mcl-) poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA) producer, was grown on 13-methyltetradecanoic acid (13-MTDA) and a mixture of isostearic acid (IA) isomers to produce methyl-branched mcl-PHA polymers. Shake-flask experiments revealed polymer productivities (the percent of the cell mass that is polymer) of 31 ± 1% (n = 3) and 23 ± 3% (n = 3) when grown in 13-MTDA and IA, respectively. Monomer content was determined by a combination of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) of the acid hydrolyzed, silylated methyl esters, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Results showed that the mcl-PHA polymer derived from 13-MTDA was primarily composed of 3-hydroxy-7-methyloctanoic acid and 3-hydroxy-9-methyldecanoic acid (67 and 16 mol% by GC/MS, respectively). In contrast, the mcl-polymers synthesized from the IA isomeric mixture were more complex, containing both even and odd chain-length monomers as well as varying distributions of methyl-branched derivatives. The PHA distributions among the C8, C10, C12, and C14 carbon chain-length monomers included three isomers of C8, five isomers of C10, seven isomers of C12, and nine isomers of C14 each containing one linear-chain derivative and n−6 methyl-branched derivatives where n equals the total number of carbon atoms in each monomer unit (C8–C14).

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Acknowledgment

The authors thank Marshall Reed for his technical assistance throughout the study.

Author information

Correspondence to Richard D. Ashby.

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Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Ashby, R.D., Ngo, H.L., Solaiman, D.K.Y. et al. Methyl-branched poly(hydroxyalkanoate) biosynthesis from 13-methyltetradecanoic acid and mixed isostearic acid isomer substrates. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 85, 359–370 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-009-2134-1

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Keywords

  • Biopolymer
  • Poly(hydroxyalkanoate)
  • Pseudomonas resinovorans
  • Isostearic acid
  • 13-Methyltetradecanoic acid