Simultaneous polyhydroxyalkanoates and rhamnolipids production by thermus thermophilus HB8

Anastasia A. Pantazaki, Christos P. Papaneophytou, Dimitra A. Lambropoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The ability of Thermus thermophilus HB8 to produce simultaneously two environmentally-friendly biodegradable products, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and rhamnolipids (RLs), using either sodium gluconate or glucose as sole carbon source, was demonstrated. The utilization of sodium gluconate resulted in higher levels of PHAs and RLs production than when glucose was used as sole carbon source. The initial phosphate concentration (as PO4 3-) influences both PHAs and RLs productions that were increased during cultivation time. PHAs accumulation was enhanced (> 300 mg/L) after 72 h of cultivation in an initial [PO4 3-] of 25 mM, while RLs production (> 200 mg/L) was started after 35 h and continued until 72 h of cultivation, in a phosphate-limited medium containing initially 5 mM of [PO4 3-]. In addition, the combine effect of initial [PO4 3-] and cultivation time on biomass, PHAs and RLs production was evaluated from 2D contour plots. The results revealed that low initial phosphate concentrations (up to 5 mM) and long incubation time (72 h) promoted RLs biosynthesis while higher initial phosphate concentrations (up to 25 mM) where favorable for biomass and PHAs production. The molecular composition of the produced bio-products was identified. The accumulated PHAs were co-polymers which mainly consisted of 3- hydroxydecanoate (3HD) as resulted by gas chromatography (GC) analysis. The secreted RLs were extracted and their total mixture contained both mono- and di- RLs identified by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Moreover, the molecular composition of the produced RLs characterized in details by LC-MS analysis showed a plethora of diversity including mono-, and di-RLs, di-rhamno-monolipidic congeners differing in the length of the lipidic chain, which additionally were found to be saturated or unsaturated in some cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalAMB Express
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Phosphate limitation
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)
  • Rhamnolipids (RLs)
  • Thermus thermophilus HB8


Dive into the research topics of 'Simultaneous polyhydroxyalkanoates and rhamnolipids production by thermus thermophilus HB8'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this