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1.  Production of 1,3-PDO and butanol by a mutant strain of Clostridium pasteurianum with increased tolerance towards crude glycerol 
AMB Express  2012;2:44.
The production of biodiesel results in a concomitant production of crude glycerol (10% w/w). Clostridium pasteurianum can utilize glycerol as sole carbon source and converts it into 1,3-propanediol, ethanol, butanol, and CO2. Reduced growth and productivities on crude glycerol as compared to technical grade glycerol have previously been observed. In this study, we applied random mutagenesis mediated by ethane methyl sulfonate (EMS) to develop a mutant strain of C. pasteurianum tolerating high concentrations of crude glycerol. At an initial crude glycerol concentration of 25 g/l the amount of dry cell mass produced by the mutant strain was six times higher than the amount produced by the wild type. Growth of the mutant strain was even detected at an initial crude glycerol concentration of 105 g/l. A pH controlled reactor with in situ removal of butanol by gas-stripping was used to evaluate the performance of the mutant strain. Utilizing stored crude glycerol, the mutant strain showed significantly increased rates compared to the wild type. A maximum glycerol utilization rate of 7.59 g/l/h was observed along with productivities of 1.80 g/l/h and 1.21 g/l/h of butanol and 1,3-PDO, respectively. These rates are higher than what previously has been published for C. pasteurianum growing on technical grade glycerol in fed batch reactors. In addition, high yields of the main products (butanol and 1,3-PDO) were detected and these two products were efficiently separated in two steams using gas-stripping.
PMCID: PMC3492062  PMID: 22901717
Glycerol; Crude glycerol; Biofuel; Anaerobic fermentation; Chemical mutagenesis
2.  Plasmid Transfer from Pseudomonas putida to the Indigenous Bacteria on Alfalfa Sprouts: Characterization, Direct Quantification, and In Situ Location of Transconjugant Cells 
The transfer of the plasmids pJKJ5 and TOL (pWWO) from Pseudomonas putida to the indigenous bacterial community on alfalfa sprouts was studied. Tagging with fluorescent protein markers allowed direct quantification of the introduced donor bacteria and of indigenous bacteria that had received the plasmids. The sprouts were observed for 9 days; during this time alfalfa seeds, inoculated with donor bacteria, developed to edible and subsequently decaying sprouts. The first transconjugants were detected on day 6 after donor inoculation and occurred at frequencies of 3.4 × 10−4 and 2.0 × 10−6 transconjugant cells per donor cell for pKJK5::gfp and TOL::gfp, respectively. Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that the sprouts were heavily colonized with donors and that most transconjugants were located around the hypocotyl and root areas. Randomly selected members of the indigenous bacterial community from both inoculated and uninoculated sprouts, as well as a representative part of the community that had received the plasmids, were characterized by polymorphisms of PCR-amplified ribosomal DNA (rDNA) spacer regions between the 16S and 23S genes, followed by partial 16S rDNA sequencing. This showed that the initially dominating genera Erwinia and Paenibacillus were gradually replaced by Pseudomonas on the fully developed sprouts. Transconjugants carrying either of the investigated plasmids mainly belonged to the genera Pseudomonas and Erwinia. The numbers of transconjugant cells did not reach detectable levels until 6 days after the onset of germination, at which point these species constituted the majority of the indigenous bacteria. In conclusion, the alfalfa sprouts provided an environment that allowed noteworthy frequencies of plasmid transfer from P. putida in the absence of selective pressure that could favor the presence of the investigated plasmids.
PMCID: PMC194921  PMID: 12957943

Results 1-2 (2)