Phage-based extraction of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) produced from synthetic crude glycerol. Academic Article uri icon


  • Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a biodegradable plastic, is an attractive alternative to traditional petrochemical-derived plastics. However, its production is expensive due to high feedstock and extraction costs. As bacteriophages are natural predators to bacteria and specific to their hosts, bacteriophages offer a new and unique means to release PHB from bacteria via cell lysis. This study examined the feasibility of using bacteriophages as an effective bioextractant to release PHB produced by Pseudomonas oleovorans cultured with glycerol containing common impurities which are generated from biodiesel production. While bacteria in stationary growth are known to be immune to bacteriophages, a bacteriophage Ke14 - isolated from soil - could lyse the PHB-filled cells effectively when excess nutrients were provided to trigger cell regrowth. The short-term nutrient treatment facilitated cell lysis with a little expense of PHB depolymerization, offering a new way to release PHB from cells without energy/solvent input.

published proceedings

  • Sci Total Environ

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Hand, S., Gill, J., & Chu, K.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Hand, Steven||Gill, Jason||Chu, Kung-Hui

publication date

  • January 2016