Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Microbial production of meso-2,3-butanediol by metabolically engineered Escherichia coli under low oxygen condition.

PMID 20499229


A metabolically engineered Escherichia coli has been constructed for the production of meso-2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD) under low oxygen condition. Genes responsible for 2,3-BD formation from pyruvate were assembled together to generate a high-copy plasmid pEnBD, in which each gene was transcribed with a constitutive promoter. To eliminate by-product formation under low oxygen condition, genes including ldhA, pta, adhE, and poxB which functioned for the mixed acid fermentation pathways were deleted in E. coli JM109. Compared with the wild type, the quadruple gene deletion mutant produced smaller amounts of acetate, succinate, and ethanol from glucose when cultivated in LB medium in shake flasks under low-aeration. When 2,3-BD producing pathway was introduced via pEnBD into the mutant, higher glucose consumption and faster 2,3-BD production rate compared with that of the wild-type control were observed under aerobic condition in shake flasks. In a 6-L fermentor supplied with only 3% dissolved oxygen (DO), the mutant harboring pEnBD converted glucose to 2,3-BD much faster than the control did. When DO supply was further lowered to 1% DO, the recombinant mutant grew much slower but produced 2,3-BD as a major fermentation metabolic product. In addition, the 2,3-BD yield showed an increase from 0.20 g BD/g glucose for the control to 0.43 g BD/g glucose for the mixed acid pathway deleted mutant grown in fermentors under 1% DO. These results reveals the potential of production of enantiomerically pure 2,3-BD isomer by recombinant E. coli under low oxygen condition.

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meso-2,3-Butanediol, 99%