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Production of polyhydroxyalkanoate monomers

Grant number: 19/16600-3
Support type:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - PIPE
Duration: October 01, 2020 - September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal researcher:Marilda Keico Taciro
Grantee:Marilda Keico Taciro
Associated scholarship(s):20/15321-0 - Construction of recombinant capable of excreting hydroxy acids, BP.TT
20/13308-7 - Production of polyhydroxyalkanoate monomers., BP.BIOEN.PIPE


The proposal aims to evaluate the technical and scientific feasibility of the production of polyhydroxyalkanoate monomers from two microbial strains (Halomonas sp. and Pseudomonas sp.) that naturally accumulate the polymer with different monomeric compositions. Polyhydroxyalkanoates monomers presents different applications, as in the synthesis of value-added compounds in the medical/pharmaceutical field and in the synthesis of new (non-naturally produced) tailor-made polymers. These monomers can be obtained through biotechnological processes or by chemical synthesis. The biotechnological production is the most interesting choice, since it is possible to obtain pure enantiomers, which sets particular properties to the final product. Besides, the principal investigator of this proposal presents a large experience on the biotechnological production of different PHA. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production in Brazil began in the 1990s in an initiative of the Cooperative of Sugar and Alcohol Producers of the State of São Paulo (COPERSUCAR), the Institute of Technological Research of São Paulo State SA (IPT) and the University of São Paulo (USP). This initiative was focused on the production of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (P3HB) and its copolymer (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (P(HB/HV)). Studies for the development of other PHA continued at both academic and bench scale levels funded by petrochemical industries and development agencies in the country, always focusing on polymer production supported by its biodegradability, biocompatibility and use of renewable raw materials. Scientific publications or mentions on the production of monomers of these polymers and their applications in the country were not found. Previous experiments with the two wild type strains show that they accumulate high levels of PHA (ca 70% of dry cell biomass) intracellularly. Shaken flasks and bioreactor experiments will be conducted to verify if these strains are naturally able to excrete PHA monomers in the culture media. Bioreactor experiments and chromatography analyzes will be carried out in the laboratory origin of the researcher responsible for the proposal (Laboratory of Bioproducts of ICB / USP), where the methodologies are already implemented and established. All other activities will be conducted at the company that will be constituted, if this proposal be approved. It is expected that by the end of the project, polyhydroxyalkanoate monomers can be obtained allowing two fronts of action for the future company: "tailor-made" polymers and chiral monomers for high value-added chemicals. (AU)

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