Production of substituted phenylacetic acids by styrene-degrading bacteria

Anna Drechsel, Sarah Hofmann, Stefan R. Kaschabek, Michael Schlömann, Dirk Tischler, Michel Oelschlägel

DBU, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt

A number of soil bacteria is able to metabolize styrene via initial side-chain oxygenation into the central metabolite phenylacetic acid and harbors corresponding genes. This pathway of styrene degradation is of potential biotechnological relevance for the production of especially phenylacetic acids. These aromatic acids are important for various industries. In this study we report on the establishment of a process using native cells of Pseudomonas fluorescens ST for the co-metabolic production of 4-chlorophenylacetic acid. Therefore, cultivation and inducing conditions were optimized and biotransformation strategies were developed to accumulate the product to high concentrations.

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