Storage of Hydrophobic Polymers in Bacteria
The accumulation of storage reserves is broadly spread in nature, and among the different compounds stored, carbohydrates and lipids are the most common and important. The accumulation of storage compounds in inclusion bodies is a strategy that allows the survival of microorganisms in different environments since most of these compounds act as element and/or energy sources. A variety of storage reserves is known and among lipids, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), triacylglycerols (TAGs), and wax esters (WEs) are the most important. These carbon-based internal reserves gained importance in the last years due to the possibility of using them as substitutes of materials and fuels usually obtained from mineral oil. For this reason, the knowledge about the microorganisms that store them, the metabolic routes involved on their formation, and the process conditions that allow their efficient production were subject of many scientific works and constitute the main topic of the present chapter.
This work was financed by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia through IF/01054/2014. This work was also developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. This work was also supported by the Associate Laboratory for Green Chemistry- LAQV which is financed by national funds from FCT/MCTES (UID/QUI/50006/2013) and co-financed by the ERDF under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement (POCI-01-0145-FEDER – 007265).
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