The aim of this study was to determine the competition between H(2) production and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) accumulation of Rhodopseudomonas palustris WP3-5 when grown on six different substrates. From the results, strain WP3-5 can utilize acetate, propionate, malate, and lactate to produce H(2) but can only synthesize PHB on acetate and propionate. The substrate conversion efficiency (SCE) on acetate and propionate increased significantly after the maximum PHB content was achieved, illustrating a competition for reducing power when PHB synthesis occurred. However, when strain WP3-5 was cultivated at suboptimal pH values on acetate, the synthesized PHB prevented strain WP3-5 from the stress of the inappropriate pH and retained H(2) producing efficiency as at optimal pH value. Consequently, although PHB synthesis does compete with H(2) production in R. palustris WP3-5, it is still conducive to H(2) production when strain WP3-5 is in a stressful condition.
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