Author(s): Wltermann M, Luftmann H, Baumeister D, Kalscheuer R, Steinbchel A
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Abstract The triacylglycerol (TAG)-accumulating, hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium Rhodococcus opacus strain PD630 and chemically induced storage-deficient mutants derived from this strain were investigated for their capability to accumulate storage lipids in the cytoplasm during cultivation under nitrogen-limiting conditions. Acylglycerols were analysed by matrix-associated laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) and by reversed-phase HPLC. Fatty acids comprising 13-19 carbon atoms in various acylglycerols constituted up to 76\% of the cellular dry weight in gluconate-grown cells, with a significant proportion of odd-numbered fatty acids. Hydrolysis using pancreatic lipase and deacylation with ethyl magnesium bromide were employed to identify the stereospecific distribution of fatty acids at the glycerol. This analysis showed that the fatty acids were not randomly distributed between the three positions of the glycerol backbone. In comparison with common plant fats, where the longer and higher unsaturated fatty acids are predominantly found at position 2, R. opacus PD630 accumulated only the shorter and saturated fatty acids in this position. More than 100 mutants accumulating TAG at a significantly lower rate were obtained by chemical mutagenesis and identified by staining with Sudan Black B. All the mutants showed similar neutral lipid patterns by TLC analysis, with a small distinct spot exhibiting the same R(F) value as TAG; this was identified as a residual amount of TAG by preparative TLC and MALDI-TOF, indicating that this bacterium is possibly capable of synthesizing TAGs by at least two different pathways.
This article was published in Microbiology
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology