|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.