There is a strong interest in using photosynthetic cyanobacteria as production hosts for biofuels and chemicals. Recent work has shown the benefit of pathway engineering, enzyme tolerance, and co-factor usage for improving yields of fermentation products. An n-butanol pathway was inserted into a Synechocystis mutant deficient in polyhydroxybutyrate synthesis. We found that nitrogen starvation increased specific butanol productivity up to threefold, but cessation of cell growth limited total n-butanol titers. Metabolite profiling showed that acetyl-CoA increased twofold during nitrogen starvation. Introduction of a phosphoketolase increased acetyl-CoA levels sixfold at nitrogen replete conditions and increased butanol titers from 22 to 37 mg/L at day 8. Flux balance analysis of photoautotrophic metabolism showed that a Calvin-Benson-Bassham-Phosphoketolase pathway had higher theoretical butanol productivity than CBB-Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas and a reduced butanol ATP demand. These results demonstrate that phosphoketolase overexpression and modulation of nitrogen levels are two attractive routes toward increased production of acetyl-CoA derived products in cyanobacteria and could be implemented with complementary metabolic engineering strategies.
Bibliographical noteThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
- Metabolic engineering