Bacterial outer membrane (OM) is a self-protective and permeable barrier, while having many non-negligible negative effects in industrial biotechnology. Our previous studies revealed enhanced properties of Halomonas bluephagenesis based on positive cellular properties by OM defects. This study further expands the OM defect on membrane compactness by completely deleting two secondary acyltransferases for lipid A modification in H. bluephagenesis, LpxL and LpxM, and found more significant advantages than that of the previous lpxL mutant. Deletions on LpxL and LpxM accelerated poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) production by H. bluephagenesis WZY229, leading to a 37% increase in PHB accumulation and 84-folds reduced endotoxin production. Enhanced membrane permeability accelerates the diffusion of γ-butyrolactone, allowing H. bluephagenesis WZY254 derived from H. bluephagenesis WZY229 to produce 82wt% poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-23mol%4-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB-co-23mol%4HB)) in shake flasks, showing increases of 102% and 307% in P(3HB-co-4HB) production and 4HB accumulation, respectively. The 4HB molar fraction in copolymer can be elevated to 32 mol% in the presence of more γ-butyrolactone. In a 7-l bioreactor fed-batch fermentation, H. bluephagenesis WZY254 supported a 84 g l−1 dry cell mass with 81wt% P(3HB-co-26mol%4HB), increasing 136% in 4HB molar fraction. This study further demonstrated that OM defects generate a hyperproduction strain for high 4HB containing copolymers.
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