The main objectives are defined as follows :
* To develop a fermentation process for the production of biodegradable PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from cheap renewable substrates employing a previously isolated bacterial strain and agroindustrial products.
* To initiate a screening program to detect and isolate new bacterial strains with the capabilities to produce PHAs with different properties for future applications from renewable substrates.
* To conduct basic studies on the biochemistry and genetics of PHA granules associated proteins in the bacterial strains mentioned above.
This project should reveal a process for production of PHA at low costs. The proposed research will also enhance the research level and the training of human resources in the participating developing countries. This will be achieved not only by an extended exchange of information and knowledge between the participating laboratories, and by the provision of strains and genes, but also and in particular by increasing the mobility of researchers of all participating laboratories as a result of giving researchers (PostDocs) or Ph. D. students of the laboratories of the developing countries the possibility to visit the laboratories of the other partners and to learn sophisticated methods. Vice versa, researchers from the latter laboratories will visit the participating laboratories of the developing countries for training courses and for laboratory research.
The key activities involve:
* Employ batch cultures in stirred tank reactors for growth of bacterial cells on sucrose to high cell densities with maximum PHA content. The feeding regime, temperature, agitation, aeration rate, pH, medium components, dissolved oxygen concentration will be optimized for this purpose.
* Proteins associated with the PHA granules will be isolated and characterized, and the corresponding genes will be cloned and sequenced.
* In addition, various microscopic and electron microscopic methods such as confocal scanning laser microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy will be employed to characterize the strains and to identify more suitable production strains.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1428 Buenos Aires
1417 Buenos Aires