5-13: Production of polyhydroxyalkanoate by Saccharophagus degradans 2-40

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Napoleon Ballroom C-D, 3rd fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
Sarah E. Hobdey1, Larry E. Taylor II2 and Michael E. Himmel2, (1)The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, (2)Biosciences Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Saccharophagus degradans 2-40 is a gram-negative bacterium that can convert lignocellulosic biomass into polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). PHAs are short hydrocarbon chains that are accumulated as small granular inclusions within the bacterium that serve as energy stores. Recently, NREL scientists have demonstrated conversion of commercially-sourced PHA into longer chain hydrocarbons, e.g. C8 to C16. S. degradans has previously been shown to produce relatively low amounts of PHA per dry cell mass (~15%) during growth on biomass. The goal of this work is to increase the growth rate and metabolism of S. degradans 2-40 on pretreated corn stover (PCS) and optimize the amount of PHA produced.  A range of culture conditions was evaluated to determine optimal conversion levels of PCS to PHA. As other PHA producing bacteria (which are unable to use lignocellulosic biomass as a carbon source) are able to produce PHA at levels as high as 70% cell dry weight, future work will involve genetic manipulation of the PHA pathway of 2-40 to increase the total amount of PHA per cell. Successful completion of this system has the potential to provide an integrated path from biomass to gasoline and diesel like hydrocarbons that are compatible with current engine and distribution technologies
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