Bacillus flexus was isolated from local soil sample and identified by molecular methods. In inorganic nutrient medium (IM) containing sucrose as carbon source, yield of biomass and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) were 2 g/l and 1 g/l (50% of biomass), respectively. Substitution of inorganic nitrogen by peptone, yeast extract or beef extract resulted in biomass yields of 4.1, 3.9 and 1.6 g/l, respectively. Corresponding yields of PHA in biomass was 30%, 40% and 44%. Cells subjected to change in nutrient condition from organic to inorganic, lacked diaminopimelic acid in the cell wall and the concentration of amino acids also decreased. Under these conditions the extractability of the polymer from the cells by hot chloroform or mild alkali hydrolysis was 86-100% compared to those grown in yeast extract or peptone (32-56%). The results demonstrated that growth, PHA production and the composition of cell wall of B. flexus are influenced by the organic or inorganic nutrients present in the growth medium. Cells grown in inorganic medium lysed easily and this can be further exploited for easier recovery of the intracellular PHA.
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