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Pioneering research succeeds in producing industrially vital chemical through engineered bacteria
Date:8/26/2009

e putrescine exporter, which allows excretion of intracellularly made putrescine, was engineered while a global regulator was engineered to further increase the concentration of putrescine. The final result of this process was an engineered E. coli strain which produced 24.2 g of putrescine per litre.

However, as it was believed that putrescine is toxic to microorganisms the team had to study putrescine tolerance in E. coli before it could be engineered to overproduce the chemical to the levels needed for industrial production.

The results revealed that E. coli can tolerate at least 0.5 M of putrescine, which is tenfold higher than the usual concentration in the cell. This level of tolerance was an important surprise as it means that E. coli can be engineered to overproduce putrescine to industrially competitive levels.

"The previously expected toxicity of putrescine may explain why its microbial production has been overlooked," said Lee. "Now a metabolically engineered E.coli strain has been developed which is capable of efficiently producing putrescine using renewable methods to an industrial level. This metabolic engineering framework should be useful for developing metabolically engineered microorganisms for the efficient production of other chemicals from renewable resources."


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Contact: Ben Norman
Benorman@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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