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Selection of PHA synthases coding genes for the construction of recombinant Burkholderia sacchari and Pseudomonas sp and evaluation of polyhydroxyalkanoate production with different monomer compositions.

Grant number: 12/07370-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2012
Effective date (End): June 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Luiziana Ferreira da Silva
Grantee:Thandara Garcia Ravelli
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are polyesters accumulated by various bacteria from renewable carbon sources and have industrial interest since they are thermoplastics and biodegradable. Monomer composition of PHA determine its mechanical properties allowing different applications. PHA are composed either by short-chain-lenght (HAscl) or medium-chain-length monomers (HAmcl) or even compose HAscl-co-HAmcl with intermediate properties. Three factors are essential to produce PHA: carbon source, bacterial metabolic pathways and the PHA synthase key-enzyme that catalyses R-hydroxyacyl-CoA polymerization to form PHA. Four types of PHA synthase are known depending on their substrate specificity and subunit composition. Types I & 2 have one peptide unit and types III & IV have two. Recent studies searched in a Atlantic Forest soil metagenomic library for putative new genes, yielding a collection of promising clones. In this plan of work clones from this collection will be tested, selecting the most promising for sub cloning and expression in PHA negative mutants affected on their natural PHA synthase to verify the type of PHA synthesized. The focus will be HAscl-co-HAmcl copolymers due their promising properties and few existing works on the literature.

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