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Isolation of PHB Producing Yeast from Soil and its Quantification


Varsha Varghese* and Sheela Shylaja  


Background: Plastics are widely used in almost every manufacturing industry ranging from automobiles to medicine. Plastics take years to degrade and have become a threat to the environment. Therefore there is a necessity to use biodegradable plastics in place of such non-biodegradable plastics. Polyhydroxybutyrate or PHB is a type of biopolymer that has similar properties to synthetic plastics and is susceptible to degradation by microbes in the environment. PHB is produced in microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast under stress conditions. As the yeast has a large cell size, it can accumulate more PHB than bacteria and is also physiologically flexible, in addition to the advantage of using yeast rather than the bacterial cell for the production of PHB. Therefore the aim of the study was to isolate PHB producing yeast strain from the agricultural field.

Methods: Primary screening of isolates using Sudan Black B for PHB production. The extraction of PHB was done using the sodium hypochlorite digestion method. The quantification of extracted PHB by UV-VIS spectroscopy.

Results: The percentage and amount of PHB extracted were found to be 13.4 % per biomass and 1.6mg/ml, respectively.

Conclusion: A quite amount of PHB was able to extract from yeast isolate. From a future perspective, the enhancement of PHB production can be done using agricultural residues like sugarcane bagasse, corn cob, teff, banana peel, etc.


Polyhydroxybutyrate, yeast isolates, Sudan black B staining, extraction, quantification, UV-VIS spectroscopy


Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Madras University, Chennai, Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Madras University, Loyola College, Chennai

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