Special Issue "Synthesis and Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Biopolymers"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Luísa Seuanes Serafim

CICECO–Aveiro Institute of Materials, Chemistry Department, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: polyhydroxyalkanoates; mixed cultures; bioethanol; bacterial cellulose; biorefineries
Guest Editor
Dr. Paulo Costa Lemos

REQUIMTE/LAQV, Chemistry Dep, FCT/Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Caparica, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental Biotechnology; waste/water valorization; microbial ecology; biopolymers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Common plastics of fossil fuel origin are persistent in nature, representing a serious and growing environmental problem. These plastics can be replaced in diverse applications by bio-based polymers like polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). PHAs are biodegradable and can be produced from numerous wastes and by-products by more than 300 genera of prokaryotes.

PHAs act as internal carbon and energy reserves in bacteria, allowing for survival in environments that experience unbalanced nutritional conditions. One example of these conditions is the limitation of nutrients required for growth, such as oxygen or nitrogen, when carbon is present in excess. Another example is the alternation of periods of lack and availability of carbon sources. Also, due to the high diversity of monomers and the possibility to combine different monomers into the final polymer, a wide range of properties can be obtained for this class of polymers, from thermoplastics to elastomers, with a wide range of applications. Although PHAs can replace many types of petrol-derived plastics, their production price is not yet commercially attractive. Researchers in this field still need to tackle several challenges in order to make the industrial production of PHAs competitive with the well-established industry of conventional plastics. These challenges include high cell density processes, the use of cheap and fast metabolized substrates, fast-growing strains, low sterility processes, high cell contents, and easier downstream processing.

This Special Issue intends to cover the latest developments in this field including all types of producing microorganisms—pure, recombinant, and mixed microbial cultures. Topics will include the use of new raw materials as the substrate; the selection, enrichment, screening, and isolation of novel producers; reactor operation; metabolic engineering for production improvement; downstream processing; process scale-up; polymer characterization; and polymer applications/blends.

Prof. Luísa Seuanes Serafim
Dr. Paulo Costa Lemos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Biopolymers
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Bacterial production
  • Mixed microbial cultures
  • Recombinant organisms
  • Cheap raw materials
  • Downstream

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Time-Course Proteomic Analysis of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 during Mcl-Polyhydroxyalkanoate Synthesis under Nitrogen Deficiency
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050748
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
PDF Full-text (2227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs) have gained great attention as a new green alternative to petrochemical-derived polymers. Due to their outstanding material properties they can be used in a wide range of applications. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is a metabolically versatile producer of mcl-polyhydroxyalkanoates. Although the [...] Read more.
Medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs) have gained great attention as a new green alternative to petrochemical-derived polymers. Due to their outstanding material properties they can be used in a wide range of applications. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is a metabolically versatile producer of mcl-polyhydroxyalkanoates. Although the metabolism of polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis by this bacterium has been extensively studied, the comparative proteome analysis from three growth stages of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 cultured with oleic acid during mcl-PHA synthesis has not yet been reported. Therefore; the aim of the study was to compare the proteome of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 at different time points of its cultivation using the 2D difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) technique. The analyses showed that low levels of a nitrogen source were beneficial for mcl-PHA synthesis. Proteomic analysis revealed that the proteins associated with carbon metabolism were affected by nitrogen starvation and mcl-PHA synthesis. Furthermore, the induction of proteins involved in nitrogen metabolism, ribosome synthesis, and transport was observed, which may be the cellular response to stress related to nitrogen deficiency and mcl-PHA content in bacterial cells. To sum up; this study enabled the investigators to acquire a better knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying the induction of polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis and accumulation in Pseudomonas putida KT2440 that could lead to improved strategies for PHAs in industrial production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Biopolymers)

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