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Open Access Rhodospirillum rubrum: utilization of condensed corn solubles for poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) production

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Abstract Aims: 

This study sought to develop a less expensive medium for growth of the polyhydroxyalkanoate-producing bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum from the ethanol production coproduct, condensed corn solubles (CCS). Methods and Results: 

Small-scale trials using R. rubrum were performed in aerated or anaerobic stoppered serum bottles filled with media. The CCS (240 g l−1) achieved a maximum cell density and growth rate comparable with the defined supplemented malate-ammonium medium (mSMN) or tryptic soy broth. Microaerophilic solubles medium cultures exhibited significantly higher maximum cell densities and growth rates than did strictly anaerobic cultures; while illumination, nickel or biotin addition had no effect. Growth of R. rubrum in a pH controlled bioreactor was significantly better in CCS (240 g l−1) than in mSMN medium and supported production of 0ยท36% (cell dry weight) poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate-Co-3-hydroxyvalerate) after 24 h. Conclusions: 

A CCS medium was devised that supported R. rubrum growth for biopolymer production as effective as the defined medium. Significance and Impact of the Study: 

This study demonstrates that a more economical medium can be developed for biopolymer production using a low value coproduct from ethanol production. The impact is that this inexpensive solubles medium may make it more economical to produce the biopolymer on a commercial scale.
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Keywords: Rhodospirillum rubrum; bioreactor; biotin; cell density; condensed corn solubles; nickel; poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate-Co-3-hydroxyvalerate); syngas

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2008

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