Marine Purple Photosynthetic Bacteria as Sustainable Microbial Production Hosts
Higuchi-Takeuchi, M.; Numata, K.
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7: 258
Photosynthetic microorganisms can serve as the ideal hosts for the sustainable production of high-value compounds. Purple photosynthetic bacteria are typical anoxygenic photosynthetic microorganisms and are expected to be one of the suitable microorganisms for industrial production. Purple photosynthetic bacteria are reported to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), extracellular nucleic acids and hydrogen gas. We characterized PHA production as a model compound in purple photosynthetic bacteria, especially focused on marine strains. PHA is a family of biopolyesters synthesized by a variety of microorganisms as carbon and energy storage materials. PHA have recently attracted attention as an alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics. Production of extracellular nucleic acids have been studied in Rhodovulum sulfidophilum, a marine purple non-sulfur bacterium. Several types of artificial RNAs have been successfully produced in R. sulfidophilum. Purple photosynthetic bacteria produce hydrogen via nitrogenase, and genetic engineering strategies have been investigated to enhance the hydrogen production. This mini review describes the microbial production of these high-value compounds using purple photosynthetic bacteria as the host microorganism.