Abstract

An overview is provided on the diversity of biosynthetic polyhydroxyalkanoic acids, and all hitherto known constituents of these microbial storage compounds are listed. The occurrence of 91 different hydroxyalkanoic acids reflects the low substrate specificity of polyhydroxyalkanoic acid synthases which are the key enzymes of polyhydroxyalkanoic acid biosynthesis. In addition, the importance of bacterial anabolism and catabolism, which provide the coenzyme A thioesters of the respective hydroxyalkanoic acids as substrates to these PHA synthases, is emphasized.

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Author notes

1
James Madison University, Department of Biology, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA.