International Microbiology, Vol 8, No 4 (2005)

Statistical optimization of a culture medium for biomass and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) production by a recombinant Escherichia coli strain using agroindustrial byproducts

Pablo I. Nikel, M. Julia Pettinari, Beatriz S. Méndez, Miguel A. Galvagno


A statistically based Plackett-Burman screening design identified milk whey and corn steep liquor concentrations as well as ionic strength (based on phosphate buffer concentration) as the three main independent components of the culture medium that significantly (p < 0.05) influenced biomass and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) production in recombinant cells of Escherichia coli. This strain carries a plasmid encoding phb genes from a natural isolate of Azotobacte sp. Response surface methodology, using a central composite rotatable design, demonstrated that the optimal concentrations of the three components, defined as those yielding maximal biomass and PHB production in shaken flasks, were 37.96 g deproteinated milk whey powder/l, 29.39 g corn steep liquor/l, and 23.76 g phosphates/l (r2 = 0.957). The model was validated by culturing the recombinant cells in medium containing these optimal concentrations, which yielded 9.41 g biomass/l and 6.12 g PHB/l in the culture broth. Similar amounts of PHB were obtained following batch fermentations in a bioreactor. These results show that PHB can be produced efficiently by culturing the recombinant strain in medium containing cheap carbon and nitrogen sources. [Int Microbiol 2005; 8(4):243-250]

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