Applied and environmental microbiology

Improvement of 2,3-butanediol yield in Klebsiella pneumoniae by deletion of the pyruvate formate-lyase gene.

PMID 25085487


Klebsiella pneumoniae is considered a good host strain for the production of 2,3-butanediol, which is a promising platform chemical with various industrial applications. In this study, three genes, including those encoding glucosyltransferase (wabG), lactate dehydrogenase (ldhA), and pyruvate formate-lyase (pflB), were disrupted in K. pneumoniae to reduce both its pathogenic characteristics and the production of several by-products. In flask cultivation with minimal medium, the yield of 2,3-butanediol from rationally engineered K. pneumoniae (ΔwabG ΔldhA ΔpflB) reached 0.461 g/g glucose, which was 92.2% of the theoretical maximum, with a significant reduction in by-product formation. However, the growth rate of the pflB mutant was slightly reduced compared to that of its parental strain. Comparison with similar mutants of Escherichia coli suggested that the growth defect of pflB-deficient K. pneumoniae was caused by redox imbalance rather than reduced level of intracellular acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA). From an analysis of the transcriptome, it was confirmed that the removal of pflB from K. pneumoniae significantly repressed the expression of genes involved in the formate hydrogen lyase (FHL) system.