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Production of Medium-Chain Length Polyhydroxyalkanoates by Pseudomonas citronellolis Grown in Apple Pulp Waste

Ana Teresa Rebocho, Joao Ricardo Pereira, Filomena Freitas, Luisa Alexandra Neves, Vitor Delgado Alves, Chantal Sevrin, Christian Grandfils, Maria A.M. Reis




Background and objective: Apple pulp waste generated by the fruit processing industry is a sugar-rich material with great potential to be used as a feedstock for production of value added microbial products. The aim of this work was to use this feedstock for the cultivation of Pseudomonas citronellolis and production of medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates, a natural elastomer.

Material and methods: The solid fraction of the apple pulp waste was discarded and the soluble fraction, rich in fructose (17.7 g l-1), glucose (7.5 g l-1) and sucrose (1.2 g l-1), was used for the batch bioreactor cultivation of Pseudomonas citronellolis NRRL B-2504.

Results and conclusion: Pseudomonas citronellolis reached a polymer content in the biomass of 30% wt and a volumetric productivity of 0.025 g l-1 h-1. The polymer was mainly composed of 3-hydroxydecanoate (68% mol) and 3-hydroxyoctanoate (22% mol), with minor contents of 3-hydroxydodecanoate (5% mol), 3-hydroxytetradecanoate (4% mol) and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (1% mol), and had a molecular weight of 3.7×105 Da. It presented glass transition and melting temperatures of -12 and 53°C, respectively, and a thermal degradation temperature of 296°C. The polymer’s films were dense, ductile and permeable to oxygen and carbon dioxide. These results demonstrated that apple pulp waste is a suitable feedstock for the production of a biopolymer with properties that render it a promising alternative to some synthetic petrochemical-derived polyesters.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.


▪ Apple pulp waste ▪ Medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl- PHA) ▪ Pseudomonas citronellolis ▪ Waste valorization


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/afb.v6i1.21793


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