P41 Production of polyhydroxyalkanoate-based bioplastics from marine bacteria

P41 Production of polyhydroxyalkanoate-based bioplastics from marine bacteria

Netsanet G. Assefa1, Hilde Hansen1, Bjørn Altermark1, Seila Pandur1 and Arne O. Smalås1

1Chemistry, University Of Tromsø, Tromsø, NOR

A bioplastic is a plastic obtained from renewable organic biomass sources, unlike a conventional plastic, which is made from petroleum. Microorganisms serve as producers of biodegradable bioplastics from inexhaustible resources. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are diverse polyesters, which can be produced by several bacteria. PHAs accumulate in the bacteria as intracellular granules and function as a carbon and energy storage. By making use of an in-house bacterial collection, this study aims to achieve efficient production of PHAs using cold-adapted marine bacteria growing on low-value biomass. This is realized by studying the enzymes involved biochemically and structurally, characterizing the polymers produced, and determining the biosynthetic pathways. So far, our initial screening have identified some promising PHA producing bacteria. Expression constructs of PHA synthase, an important enzyme in the synthetic pathway, from selected bacteria have been constructed and expressed in E. coli. Purification and crystallization screening is underway for these PHA synthases.