Pseudomonas putida CA-3 has the ability to accumulate to high levels unique polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) heteropolymers composed of aromatic and aliphatic monomers. The majority of monomers are aromatic making up 98% of the polymer. (R)-3-hydroxyphenylvalerate and (R)-3-hydroxyphenylhexanoate are the most abundant monomers found in polymers accumulated from phenylalkanoic acids with an uneven and even number of carbons on the acyl side chain respectively. PHAs accumulated from phenylvaleric and phenylhexanoic acid were partially crystalline while all other PHAs were amorphous. Significant differences in the yield and PHA content of the cells occurred when different phenylalkanoic acids were supplied as growth substrates. Increasing the initial concentration of the growth substrate increased both the PHA content of the cells and the overall yield (g PHA/g carbon supplied) of PHA accumulated by P. putida CA-3 cells. The highest PHA content (% cell dry wt.) from an aromatic carbon source was 59% when 15mM phenylvaleric acid was supplied as the sole source of carbon and energy. This corresponded to a maximum PHA yield of 0.42 g PHA/g carbon supplied. In and attempt to increase the level of PHA accumulated from related growth substrates acrylic acid was added to the growth medium. However, the addition of various concentrations of acrylic acid to the growth medium had either no effect or decreased the PHA content of the cell accumulated from phenylalkanoic acids by P. putida CA-3.
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