Verena Peters

Doctor of Philosophy, (Microbiology)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Polyester synthases and polyester granule assembly

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Peters investigated the polyester (polyhydroxyalkanoate or PHA) granule assembly and the potential of these granules to be utilised as bio-beads in biotechnology. PHA is synthesised by most bacteria and is stored intracellularly as granules. Biologically, PHA granules serve as carbon storage material. From a biotechnology perspective, PHA granules may act as an alternative to beads since they constitute spherical beads of 50-500 nm in diameter with a polyester core, surrounded by a phospholipid-monolayer with embedded or attached proteins. Ms Peters demonstrated that PHA granule surfaces can be modified by using the PHA synthases as anchor molecules to display proteins. These modified bio-beads were successfully applied in various biotechnology procedures. Different mutated versions of the PHA synthase were created and analysed to assess the existence of polar positional information. It was concluded that the core region of the PHA synthase (amino acids 93-521) features this polar positional information.

Professor Bernd Rehm
Associate Professor Gill Norris

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