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Olive Pomace Oil can be Used as an Alternative Carbon Source for Clavulanic Acid Production by Streptomyces clavuligerus

Young, Taran; Li, Yingying; Efthimiou, Georgios


Taran Young

Yingying Li


Clavulanic acid is an important drug, both medically and economically. It is used to combat bacterial resistance to β-lactam antibiotics and is on the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines in combination with amoxicillin. An olive oil industry waste product, olive pomace oil (OPO), is a potential alternative carbon source for clavulanic acid production by Streptomyces clavuligerus. OPO is six times cheaper than glycerol, which is the current industry standard. The aims of this study were to examine if OPO can be used as a carbon source for clavulanic acid production and to compare the clavulanic acid yield achieved in shake flasks and 1.8 L bioreactors. It was observed that OPO was efficiently utilised as a sole carbon source by S. clavuligerus growing in a P-limited medium. The S. clavuligerus cells grew faster in OPO-containing cultures compared to the glycerol-containing cultures (control) and produced comparable levels of clavulanic acid, but much earlier. In cultures with ISP2 medium that contained glycerol or OPO, higher levels of clavulanic acid were obtained in shake flask cultures with OPO. Interestingly, the same levels of clavulanic acid were observed in oil-containing cultures in bioreactors, but 48 h earlier. Furthermore, the oil-containing cultures did not need addition of an antifoam agent, while higher levels of cell viability were maintained after 72 h in these fermentations compared to the cultures that contained glycerol. Our results suggest that OPO can replace glycerol for clavulanic acid production in S. clavuligerus fermentations, which will significantly increase the productivity and cut the cost for industrial clavulanic acid biosynthesis. The same carbon source can be tested in other similar fermentation approaches for the production of antibiotics or other valuable bioproducts.


Young, T., Li, Y., & Efthimiou, G. (2020). Olive Pomace Oil can be Used as an Alternative Carbon Source for Clavulanic Acid Production by Streptomyces clavuligerus. Waste and biomass valorization, 11(8), 3965-3970.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 3, 2019
Publication Date 2020-08
Deposit Date Aug 14, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 4, 2020
Journal Waste and Biomass Valorization
Print ISSN 1877-2641
Electronic ISSN 1877-265X
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 8
Pages 3965-3970
Keywords Antibiotics; Bioprocessing; Clavulanic acid; Olive pomace oil; Streptomyces; Waste
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