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A novel finding that Streptomyces clavuligerus can produce the antibiotic clavulanic acid using olive oil as a sole carbon source

Efthimiou, G.; Thumser, A. E.; Avignone-Rossa, C. A.


A. E. Thumser

C. A. Avignone-Rossa


Aims: This study aims to establish whether commercially available food oils can be used by Streptomyces clavuligerus as sole carbon sources for growth and clavulanic acid production. Methods and results: Batch cultures in bioreactors showed that Strep. clavuligerus growth and clavulanic acid yields in a P-limited medium containing 0.6% (v/v) olive oil were respectively 2.5- and 2.6-fold higher than in a glycerol-containing medium used as control. Glycerol- and olive oil-grown cells present different macromolecular composition, particularly lipid and protein content. Conclusions: Streptomyces clavuligerus uses olive oil as the sole carbon and energy source for growth and clavulanic acid production. Yields and production rates in olive oil are comparable to those reported for oil-containing complex media. Differences in yields and in the macromolecular composition indicate that different metabolic pathways convert substrate into product. Significance and impact of the study: This is the first report of oils being used as the sole carbon source by Strep. clavuligerus. Apart from economic benefits, interesting questions are raised about Strep. clavuligerus physiology. Defined culture media allow physiological studies to be performed in the absence of interference by other compounds. Understanding how Strep. clavuligerus catabolises oils may have an economic impact in clavulanic acid production. © 2008 The Authors.


Efthimiou, G., Thumser, A. E., & Avignone-Rossa, C. A. (2008). A novel finding that Streptomyces clavuligerus can produce the antibiotic clavulanic acid using olive oil as a sole carbon source. Journal of applied microbiology, 105(6), 2058-2064.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 15, 2008
Online Publication Date Nov 21, 2008
Publication Date 2008-12
Deposit Date Dec 18, 2019
Journal Journal of Applied Microbiology
Print ISSN 1364-5072
Electronic ISSN 1365-2672
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 105
Issue 6
Pages 2058-2064
Keywords Carbon source; Clavulanic acid; Glycerol; Lipids; Macromolecular composition; Olive oil; Streptomyces clavuligerus
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