Bacterial conversion of depolymerized Kraft lignin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background

Lignin is a potential feedstock for microbial conversion into various chemicals. However, the microbial degradation rate of native or technical lignin is low, and chemical depolymerization is needed to obtain reasonable conversion rates. In the current study, nine bacterial strains belonging to the Pseudomonas and Rhodococcus genera were evaluated for their ability to grow on alkaline-treated softwood lignin as a sole carbon source.
Results

Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM 50090 and Rhodococcus opacus DSM1069 showed the best growth of the tested species on plates with lignin. Further evaluation of P. fluorescens and R. opacus was made in liquid cultivations with depolymerized softwood Kraft lignin (DL) at a concentration of 1 g/L. Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) showed that R. opacus consumed most of the available lower-molecular weight compounds (approximately 0.1–0.4 kDa) in the DL, but the weight distribution of larger fractions was almost unaffected. Importantly, the consumed compounds included guaiacol—one of the main monomers in the DL. SEC analysis of P. fluorescens culture broth, in contrast, did not show a large conversion of low-molecular weight compounds, and guaiacol remained unconsumed. However, a significant shift in molecular weight distribution towards lower average weights was seen after cultivation with P. fluorescens.
Conclusions

Rhodococcus opacus and P. fluorescens were identified as two potential microbial candidates for the conversion/consumption of base-catalyzed depolymerized lignin, acting on low- and high-molecular weight lignin fragments, respectively. These findings will be of relevance for designing bioconversion of softwood Kraft lignin.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Polymer Technologies
  • Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology
Original languageEnglish
Article number56
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Volume12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 16
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes