Background: 2,3-Butanediol is an important bulk chemical with a wide range of applications. In bacteria, this metabolite is synthesised from pyruvate via a three-step pathway involving alpha-acetolactate synthase, alpha-acetolactate decarboxylase and 2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase. Thus far, the best producers of 2,3-butanediol are pathogenic strains, hence, the development of more suitable organisms for industrial scale fermentation is needed. Herein, 2,3-butanediol production was engineered in the Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) organism Corynebacterium glutamicum. A two-stage fermentation process was implemented: first, cells were grown aerobically on acetate; in the subsequent production stage cells were used to convert glucose into 2,3-butanediol under non-growing and oxygen-limiting conditions.
Results: A gene cluster, encoding the 2,3-butanediol biosynthetic pathway of Lactococcus lactis, was assembled and expressed in background strains, C. glutamicum Delta ldhA, C. glutamicum Delta aceE Delta pqo Delta ldhA and C. glutamicum Delta aceE Delta pqo Delta ldhA Delta mdh, tailored to minimize pyruvate-consuming reactions, i.e., to prevent carbon loss in lactic, acetic and succinic acids. Producer strains were characterized in terms of activity of the relevant enzymes in the 2,3-butanediol forming pathway, growth, and production of 2,3-butanediol under oxygen-limited conditions. Productivity was maximized by manipulating the aeration rate in the production phase. The final strain, C. glutamicum Delta aceE Delta pqo Delta ldhA Delta mdh(pEKEx2-als, aldB, P(tuf)butA), under optimized conditions produced 2,3-butanediol with a 0.66 mol mol(-1) yield on glucose, an overall productivity of 0.2 g L-1 h(-1) and a titer of 6.3 g L-1.
Conclusions: We have successfully developed C. glutamicum into an efficient cell factory for 2,3-butanediol production. The use of the engineered strains as a basis for production of acetoin, a widespread food flavour, is proposed.
- Corynebacterium glutamicum
- Metabolic engineering
- Pyruvate node
- Lactococcus lactis
- LACTIS SUBSP LACTIS
- EFFICIENT ISOBUTANOL PRODUCTION
- PYRUVATE-DEHYDROGENASE COMPLEX
- OXYGEN-DEPRIVATION CONDITIONS
- VALINE PRODUCTION
- DIFFERENT STRAINS
- CARBON FLUX