Project Profile

Project Title Exploitation of metagenomic approach for the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from hydrocarbon-contaminated sites
Project Code 2006MB42
Project Status Completed
End Date May 2012
Sponsor(s) Department of Biotechnology
Division Environmental and Industrial Biotechnology
Executive Summary Full Text

The commercial use of biodegradable polymers will reduce the dependence on synthetic polymers and its environmental impacts. Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers are widespread among microbes and are used for storage of carbon and reducing equivalents in intracellular granules. One of the major hindrances to a successful commercial strategy in production of biodegradative polymers is high production cost. Due to lack of culture techniques for the total microflora, there lies a probability that a fraction of the microbiota that might have a better potential for PHA production is being missed out. This project will be aimed at using the metagenomics approach for bioprospecting of the pha gene in the environmental sample. If the gene can be successfully cloned, it would lead to the production of PHAs in higher quantities and at a cost comparable to synthetic plastics.