Author(s): Lindomar LERIN, Geciane TONIAZZO, Dbora de OLIVEIRA, Leda ROTTAVA, Cludio DARIVA
Limonene is a monoterpene obtained in large amounts from essential oils and is used as a raw material for the synthesis of flavors and fine chemicals. Several pathways or routes for the microbial degradation of limonene making use of the cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenases have been described. In this study, we present a fermentative screening of microorganisms in order to verify their ability to perform the desirable conversion. In parallel, the PCR technique was used to select the microorganisms that contain the lim C gene, which is responsible for the conversion of carveol to carvone. The microorganisms selected by PCR were not able to bioconvert limonene. From this result, we can suppose that these strains do not have the gene that codifies the enzyme responsible for the transformation of limonene into carveol. The results obtained in the fermentative screening showed that 4 microorganisms were able to bioconvert limonene into carveol. In addition, the amplification results showed the presence of fragments of 800 pb, expected for the limC gene. Therefore, the results obtained in the bioconversion and evaluation of the limC gene did not allow a correlation showing that these strains do not contain all the enzymes responsible for the conversion of limonene to carvone.