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Potential for mcl-PHA production from nonanoic and azelaic acids

Gillis, James, Ko, Kenton, Ramsay, Juliana A., Ramsay, Bruce A.
Canadian journal of microbiology 2018 v.64 no.1 pp. 11-19
Pseudomonas citronellolis, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas putida, acyltransferases, beta oxidation, biomass, canola, carbon, culture flasks, energy, moieties, oleic acid, ozonolysis, polyhydroxyalkanoates, soybean oil
Greater than 65% of canola and high-oleic soy oil fatty acids is oleic acid, which is readily converted to nonanoic (NA) and azelaic (AzA) acids by ozonolysis. NA is an excellent substrate for medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoate (mcl-PHA) production but AzA has few uses. Pseudomonas citronellolis DSM 50332 and Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC 17400, both able to produce mcl-PHA from fatty acids and to grow on AzA as the sole source of carbon and energy, were assessed for the accumulation of mcl-PHA from AzA and NA. In N-limited shake flasks using NA, P. citronellolis produced 32% of its dry biomass as mcl-PHA containing 78% 3-hydroxynonanoate with 22% 3-hydroxyheptanoate. Pseudomonas fluorescens produced only 2% PHA. N-limited P. citronellolis on AzA produced 20% dry weight PHA containing 75% 3-hydroxydecanoate and 25% 3-hydroxyoctanoate, indicative of de novo synthesis. Although selective pressure, including β-oxidation inhibition, under well-controlled (chemostat) conditions was applied to P. citronellolis, no side-chain carboxyl groups were detected. It was concluded that one or more of FabG and PhaJ or the PHA synthase cannot catalyze reactions involving ω-carboxy substrates. However, a process based on oleic acid could be established if Pseudomonas putida was engineered to grow on AzA.