Production of polyhydroxyalkanoate from starch by the native isolate Bacillus cereus CFR06

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A bacterial strain that produces amylase and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) was isolated, identified, and classified under the Bacillus cereus group based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and specific reaction in poly-myxin egg yolk Mannitol bromothymol blue agar (PEMBA) medium and in combination with microbiological and biochemical tests. The complete ORF of phaC gene was cloned by PCR technique and nucleotide sequences were determined. Results indicated that the phaC gene had 99% homology with phaC of B. cereus (AE016877.1), 98% with B. thuringiensis (AY331151.1), and 94% with several strains of B. anthracis and B. cereus group including Bacillus sp. INT005. However, only 90% sequence homology with phaC of B. megaterium (AF109909.2) was observed. The PHA production using different fermentable sugars was tested and it was found that the CFR06 was able to accumulate 36–60% of PHA in cell dry weight (CDW). Zymogram of amylase indicated that native strain produces an extracellular enzyme of ∼80 kDa. The potency of the organism to hydrolyze starch due to the intrinsic amylase activity was considered, and starch was used as the sole carbon source for growth and PHA production. GC, FTIR, and 1H NMR analysis of the polymer indicated that the strain was a potent polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) producer. The bacterium accumulated about 48% PHA in CDW in a starch containing medium.

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