Polyester production by halophilic and halotolerant bacterial strains obtained from mangrove soil samples located in Northern Vietnam

Van-Thuoc Doan, Huu-Phong Tran, Thi-Binh Nguyen, Thi-Tho Nguyen, Minh-Lam Duong, Jorge Quillaguamán*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This research article reports halophilic and halotolerant bacteria isolated from mangrove forests located in Northern Vietnam. Several of these bacteria were able to synthesize polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). PHAs are polyesters stored by microorganisms under the presence of considerable amounts of a carbon source and deficiency of other essential nutrient such as nitrogen or phosphorous. Mangrove forests in Northern Vietnam are saline coastal habitats that have not been microbiologically studied. Mangrove ecosystems are, in general, rich in organic matter, but deficient in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. We have found about 100 microorganisms that have adapted to mangrove forests by accumulating PHAs. The production of polyesters might therefore be an integral part of the carbon cycle in mangrove forests. Three of the strains (ND153, ND97, and QN194) isolated from the Vietnamese forests were identified as Bacillus species, while other five strains (QN187, ND199, ND218, ND240, and QN271) were phylogenetically close related to the α-proteobacterium Yangia pacifica. These strains were found to accumulate PHAs in noticeable amounts. Polymer inclusions and chemical structure were studied by transmission electron microscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy analyses, respectively. Strains ND153, ND97, QN194, QN187, ND240, and QN271 synthesized poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) from glucose, whereas strains ND199 and ND218 synthesized poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) from this carbohydrate. With the exception of strain QN194, the strains accumulated PHBV when a combination of glucose and propionate was included in the culture medium. The polymer yields and cell growth reached by one Bacillus isolate, strain ND153, and one Gram-negative bacterium, strain QN271, were high and worth to be researched further. For experiments performed in shake flasks, strain ND153 reached a maximum PHBV yield of 71 wt% and a cell dry weight (CDW) of 3.6 g/L while strain QN271 attained a maximum PHB yield of 48 wt% and a CDW of 5.1 g/L. Both strain ND153 and strain QN271 may only represent a case in point that exemplifies of the potential that mangrove forests possess for the discovery of novel halophilic and halotolerant microorganisms able to synthesize different types of biopolyesters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-406
Number of pages12
JournalOpen Microbiology Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2012. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Biopolyesters
  • halophilic bacteria
  • halotolerant bacteria
  • mangrove forests
  • polyhydroxyalkanoates


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