Utilization of hydrophobic bacteriumRhodococcus opacusB-4 as whole-cell catalyst in anhydrous organic solvents

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Abstract

Rhodococcus opacus strain B-4, which has recently been isolated as an organic solvent-tolerant bacterium, has a high hydrophobicity and exhibits a high affinity for hydrocarbons. This bacterium was able to survive for at least 5 days in organic solvents, including n-tetradecane, oleyl alcohol, and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (BEHP), which contained water less than 1% (w/v). The biocatalytic ability of R. opacus B-4 was demonstrated in the essentially nonaqueous BEHP using indigo production from indole as a model conversion. By the catabolism of oleic acid for NADH regeneration, indigo production increased up to 71.6 μg ml-1 by 24 h.

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