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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
77, No. 21, 2011; Pages: 7445 - 7450

Formation of polyhydroxyalkanoate in aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria and its relationship to carbon source and light availability

Na Xiao and Nianzhi Jiao

State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, People's Republic of China.


Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (AAPB) are unique players in carbon cycling in the ocean. Cellular carbon storage is an important mechanism regulating the nutrition status of AAPB but is not yet well understood. In this paper, six AAPB species (Dinoroseobacter sp. JL1447, Roseobacter denitrificans OCh 114, Roseobacter litoralis OCh 149, Dinoroseobacter shibae DFL 12T, Labrenzia alexandrii DFL 11T, and Erythrobacter longus DSMZ 6997) were examined, and all of them demonstrated the ability to form the carbon polymer polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) in the cell. The PHA in Dinoroseobacter sp. JL1447 was identified as poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) according to evidence from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy examinations. Carbon sources turned out to be critical for PHA production in AAPB. Among the eight media tested with Dinoroseobacter sp. JL1447, sodium acetate, giving a PHA production rate of 72%, was the most productive carbon source, followed by glucose, with a 68% PHA production rate. Such PHA production rates are among the highest recorded for all bacteria. The C/N ratio of substrates was verified by the experiments as another key factor in PHA production. In the case of R. denitrificans OCh 114, PHA was not detected when the organism was cultured at C/N ratios of <2 but became apparent at C/N ratios of >3. Light is also important for the formation of PHA in AAPB. In the case of Dinoroseobacter sp. JL1447, up to a one-quarter increase in PHB production was observed when the culture underwent growth in a light-dark cycle compared to growth completely in the dark.

Keywords:Roseobacter denitrificans, Roseobacter litoralis, Dinoroseobacter sp., Labrenzia alexandrii, Erythrobacter longus.


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