Microbial polymers and nanomaterials production is a promising alternative for sustainable bioeconomics. To this end, we used Pseudomonas putida KT2440 as a cell factory in batch cultures to coproduce two important nanotechnology materials– medium-chain-length (MCL)-polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and CdS fluorescent nanoparticles (i.e. quantum dots [QDots]). Due to high cadmium resistance, biomass and PHA yields were almost unaffected by coproduction conditions. Fluorescent nanocrystal biosynthesis was possible only in presence of cysteine. Furthermore, this process took place exclusively in the cell, displaying the classical emission spectra of CdS QDots under UV-light exposure. Cell fluorescence, zeta potential values, and particles size of QDots depended on cadmium concentration and exposure time. Using standard PHA-extraction procedures, the biosynthesized QDots remained associated with the biomass, and the resulting PHAs presented no traces of CdS QDots. Transmission electron microscopy located the synthesized PHAs in the cell cytoplasm, whereas CdS nanocrystals were most likely located within the periplasmic space, exhibiting no apparent interaction. This is the first report presenting the microbial coproduction of MCL-PHAs and CdS QDots in P. putida KT2440, thus constituting a foundation for further bioprocess developments and strain engineering towards the efficient synthesis of these highly relevant bioproducts for nanotechnology.
- CdS quantum dots
- Pseudomonas putida
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology