Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are isotactic polymers that play a critical role in central metabolism, as they act as dynamic reservoirs of carbon and reducing equivalents. These polymers have a number of technical applications since they exhibit thermoplastic and elastomeric properties, making them attractive as a replacement of oil-derived materials. PHAs are accumulated under conditions of nutritional imbalance (usually an excess of carbon source with respect to a limiting nutrient, such as nitrogen or phosphorus). The cycle of PHA synthesis and degradation has been recognized as an important physiological feature when these biochemical pathways were originally described, yet its role in bacterial processes as diverse as global regulation and cell survival is just starting to be appreciated in full. In the present revision, the complex regulation of PHA synthesis and degradation at the transcriptional, translational, and metabolic levels are explored by analyzing examples in natural producer bacteria, such as Pseudomonas species, as well as in recombinant Escherichia coli strains. The ecological role of PHAs, together with the interrelations with other polymers and extracellular substances, is also discussed, along with their importance in cell survival, resistance to several types of environmental stress, and planktonic-versus-biofilm lifestyle. Finally, bioremediation and plant growth promotion are presented as examples of environmental applications in which PHA accumulation has successfully been exploited.
|Title of host publication||Advances in Applied Microbiology|
|Number of pages||34|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Series||Advances in Applied Microbiology|
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.
- Bacterial ecology
- Central metabolism
- Global regulation