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Screening of Marine Bacterial Producers of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Optimisation of Production

Lookup NU author(s): Ahmed Abd Elrazak, Emeritus Professor Alan Ward, Professor Jarka Glassey


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Water samples from three different environments including Mid Atlantic Ridge, Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea were screened in order to isolate new polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) bacterial producers especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Two hundred and fifty-one isolates were screened for PUFA production and among them the highest number of producers was isolated from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge followed by the Red Sea while no producers were found in the Mediterranean Sea samples. The screening strategy included a simple colourimetric method followed by a confirmation via GC/MS. Among the tested producers, an isolate named 66 was found to be a potentially high PUFA producer producing relatively high levels of EPA in particular. A Plackett-Burman statistical design of experiments was applied to screen a wide number of media components identifying glycerol and whey as components of a production medium. The potential low-cost production medium was optimised by applying a response surface methodology to obtain the highest productivity converting industrial by-products into value-added products. The maximum achieved productivity of EPA was 20 mg/g, 45 mg/l, representing 11 % of the total fatty acids, which is approximately five times more than the amount produced prior to optimisation. The production medium composition was 10.79 g/l whey and 6.87 g/l glycerol. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of potential bacteria PUFA producers from Mediterranean and Red Seas providing an evaluation of a colourimetric screening method as means of rapid screening of a large number of isolates.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abd El Razak A, Ward AC, Glassey J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Microbial Ecology

Year: 2014

Volume: 67

Issue: 2

Pages: 454-464

Print publication date: 30/11/2013

ISSN (print): 0095-3628

ISSN (electronic): 1432-184X

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00248-013-0332-y


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