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TF2 Recombinant production of new phytases by Bacillus megaterium

 

(Jahn)

The aim of the recently introduced transfer project “Recombinant production of new phytases by Bacillus megaterium” is the fast transfer of results and ideas achieved in the Sonderforschungsbereich SFB 578 into industrial application. Furthermore, major new aspects should be part of ongoing fundamental research.

The industrial partner of this project is the chemical company BASF AG (Ludwigshafen, Germany). During the last years the company is interested in know-how for the construction of noval recombinant organisms and in the upscaling production processes up to production in technical scale. In this context, Bacillus megaterium might provide an useful alternative production organism for certain proteins.

Phytases are widely spread enzymes which occur in plants, animals and microorganisms. The plant product phytate is splitted into inositol and anorganic phosphate by these enzymes. Unfortunatelly, the phytate naturally found in animal feed cannot be utilized by the farm animals. Therefore, since 1991, phytases are of big interest for the BASF AG. These enzymes release the phosphate from the phytate in the feed and make it accessible for farm animals.

Bacillus Megaterium

Electron microscopic image of Bacillus megaterium grown in LB medium. Manfred Rohde, HZI, Braunschweig, 2007.
 

The Gram positive bacterium B. megaterium has a proven potential for high yield protein secretion. Plasmids and B. megaterium strains developed and optimized in the SFB 578 will now be used in this project for phytase production and secretion. Further, optimizations of the B. megaterium secretion apparatus and the screeing for new suitable secretion signals will follow. The ability of B. megaterium to achieve natural competence for DNA uptake will be investigated to develop a screening systems for new phytases with improved temperature- and pH-stability. The increase of DNA transformation rates will simplify all following genetical investigation for this organism. This way, the methods developed in research work related to the SFB 578 will be used solving commercial problems.


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