Rhizobium meliloti produced a copolymer of short chain length polyhydroxyalkanoate (scl-PHA) on sucrose and rice bran oil as carbon substrates. Recombinant Escherichia coli (JC7623ABC1J4), bearing PHA synthesis genes, was used to synthesize short chain length-co-medium chain length PHA (scl-co-mcl-PHA) on glucose and decanoic acid. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra of the PHAs indicated strong characteristic bands at 1282, 1723, and 2934 cm-1 for scl-PHA and at 2933 and 2976 cm-1 for scl-co-mcl-PHA polymer. Differentiation of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate-P(HB-co-HV) copolymer was obseverd using FTIR, with absorption bands at 1723 and 1281 for PHB, and at 1738, 1134, 1215 cm-1 for HV-copolymer. The copolymers were analyzed by GC and 1H NMR spectroscopy. Films of polymer blends of PHA produced by R. meliloti and recombinant E. coli were prepared using glycerol, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl acetate, individually (1:1 ratio), to modify the mechanical properties of the films and these films were evaluated by FTIR and scanning electron microscopy.
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