Biotechnological strategies to improve production of microbial poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate): a review of recent research work


  • Funding Information Financial support of DGAPA-UNAM (grant IT100513) and Conacyt (grants 131851 127979) is gratefully acknowledged.


Poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] is a polyester synthesized as a carbon and energy reserve material by a wide number of bacteria. This polymer is characterized by its thermo-plastic properties similar to plastics derived from petrochemical industry, such as polyethylene and polypropylene. Furthermore, P(3HB) is an inert, biocompatible and biodegradable material which has been proposed for several uses in medical and biomedical areas. Currently, only few bacterial species such as Cupriavidus necator, Azohydromonas lata and recombinant Escherichia coli have been successfully used for P(3HB) production at industrial level. Nevertheless, in recent years, several fermentation strategies using other microbial models such as Azotobacter vinelandii, A. chroococcum, as well as some methane-utilizing species, have been developed in order to improve the P(3HB) production and also its mean molecular weight.