Conversion of Glycerol to 3-Hydroxypropanoic Acid by Genetically Engineered Bacillus subtilis

Aida Kalantari, Tao Chen, Boyang Ji, Ivan Andreas Stancik, Vaishnavi Ravikumar, Damjan Franjevic, Claire Saulou-Berion, Anne Goelzer, Ivan Mijakovic

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Abstract

3-Hydroxypropanoic acid (3-HP) is an important biomass-derivable platform chemical that can be converted into a number of industrially relevant compounds. There have been several attempts to produce 3-HP from renewable sources in cell factories, focusing mainly on Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Despite the significant progress made in this field, commercially exploitable large-scale production of 3-HP in microbial strains has still not been achieved. In this study, we investigated the potential of Bacillus subtilis as a microbial platform for bioconversion of glycerol into 3-HP. Our recombinant B. subtilis strains overexpress the two-step heterologous pathway containing glycerol dehydratase and aldehyde dehydrogenase from K. pneumoniae. Genetic engineering, driven by in silico optimization, and optimization of cultivation conditions resulted in a 3-HP titer of 10 g/L, in a standard batch cultivation. Our findings provide the first report of successful introduction of the biosynthetic pathway for conversion of glycerol into 3-HP in B. subtilis. With this relatively high titer in batch, and the robustness of B. subtilis in high density fermentation conditions, we expect that our production strains may constitute a solid basis for commercial production of 3-HP.
Original languageEnglish
Article number638
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume8
Number of pages11
ISSN1664-302X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Keywords

  • 3-hydroxypropanoic acid
  • Glycerol
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Glycerol kinase knock-out

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