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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #58870


item Nunez, Alberto
item Foglia, Thomas
item Piazza, George

Submitted to: Biotechnology Techniques
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/25/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Certain enzymes can produce compounds from polyunsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils (for example, soybean and corn oils) for use in synthesis of polymers such as nylon. Some of these enzymes are commercially available. However, to make this approach more acceptable, cost-effective sources and approaches are needed for these enzymes. We have identified a new source of one enzyme used in synthesizing nylon. The source is an alga that can be readily grown under industrial conditions. A method for readily isolating the enzyme has been developed. With the availability of this enzyme, a cost-effective technology can be developed for the production of nylon polymers from agricultural resources.

Technical Abstract: Hydroperoxide lyase converts fatty acid hydroperoxides to oxo- fatty acids which after oxidation are suitable for the synthesis of higher polyamides. We have developed an improved method for isolation of this enzyme from the unicellular alga Chlorella by disrupting the cells with cold acetone. Using this procedure a five fold increase in hydroperoxide lyase activity from Chlorella pyrenoidosa was obtained compared to previously used extraction methods. We assayed other Chlorella species and found that C. fusca also contained significant levels of hydroperoxide lyase.