Project Title: Exploitation of biodiversity, lactic acid productivity, and metabolomics of lactic acid-producing microbes isolated from Taiwan and production of poly lactic acid using microbially produced lactic acid through ring opening polymerization

Abstract: Polylactic acid (PLA) is a range of unique bioplastics which are both bio-based and bio-degradable. PLA is now driving market expansion for lactic acid (LA) due to its demand as a building block during its production processes. One of the most practical and environmentally benign alternative techniques for synthesizing PLA is the enzymatic polymerization of microbial LA monomers. Aside from the potential use of PLA to replace conventional petrochemical-based polymers for industrial applications, we also aim to explore the diversity of LA-producing microbes including LAB, fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB), and Rhizopus fungi from diverse niches in Taiwan to study their functional properties and ability to produce industrially interesting metabolites. A viable method for boosting molasses fermentation is to use a simultaneous inoculum of yeasts and LA-producing microorganisms.

Our objectives are as follows:
Aim 1. Screening of yeast with high invertase production activity in molasses;
Aim 2. Isolation of LA-producing microbes, including LAB, FLAB, and Rhizopus spp., from various niches and Response Surface Methodology (RSM)-based optimization of fermentation conditions using selected strains;
Aim 3. Understanding of metabolomic pathways of LA production of LAB/FLAB;
Aim 4. Characterizing natural bioactive compounds produced by LAB/FLAB during molasses fermentation;
Aim 5. Synthesizes and characterization of PLA. We anticipate that our methods, workflow, pipelines, and new insights will interest a wide range of scientists working on ecology, materials science, and microbiology.

  • Field: Natural Science
  • School: National Changhua University of Education
  • Organizer: Department of Biology
  • Period of Apply: Jan. 2023-Jun. 2023
  • Term: Jan. 2023-Dec. 2023
  • Contact Person:Prof. Jui-Yu Chou
  • Phone:886-4-7232105 ext. 3428