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Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 58; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020058

The Bistable Behaviour of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 during PHA Depolymerization under Carbon Limitation

1
Institute of Life Technologies, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais), Route du Rawyl 47, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
2
Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich (ETHZ), Mattenstrasse 26, 4058 Basel, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Koller
Received: 14 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2423 KB, uploaded 19 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

Poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) are bacterial polyesters offering a biodegradable alternative to petrochemical plastics. The intracellular formation and degradation of PHAs is a dynamic process that strongly depends on the availability of carbon and other nutrients. Carbon excess and nitrogen limitation are considered to favor PHA accumulation, whereas carbon limitation triggers PHA depolymerization when all other essential nutrients are present in excess. We studied the population dynamics of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 at the single cell level during different physiological conditions, favoring first PHA polymerization during growth on octanoic acid, and then PHA depolymerization during carbon limitation. PHAs accumulate intracellularly in granules, and were proposed to separate preferentially together with nucleic acids, leading to two daughter cells containing approximately equal amounts of PHA. However, we could show that such P. putida KT2440 cells show bistable behavior when exposed to carbon limitation, and separate into two subpopulations: one with high and one with low PHA. This suggests an asymmetric PHA distribution during cell division under carbon limitation, which has a significant influence on our understanding of PHA mobilization. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pseudomonas putida; flow cytometry; polyhydroxyalkanoate; PHA mobilization; PHA depolymerization; starvation; carbon limitation; BODIPY 493/503 Pseudomonas putida; flow cytometry; polyhydroxyalkanoate; PHA mobilization; PHA depolymerization; starvation; carbon limitation; BODIPY 493/503
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Karmann, S.; Panke, S.; Zinn, M. The Bistable Behaviour of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 during PHA Depolymerization under Carbon Limitation. Bioengineering 2017, 4, 58.

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