Integrated rational and evolutionary engineering of genome-reduced Pseudomonas putida strains promotes synthetic formate assimilation

Justine Turlin, Beau Dronsella, Alberto De Maria, Steffen N. Lindner, Pablo I. Nikel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Formate is a promising, water-soluble C1 feedstock for biotechnology that can be efficiently produced from CO2—but formatotrophy has been engineered in only a few industrially-relevant microbial hosts. We addressed the challenge of expanding the feedstock range of bacterial hosts by adopting Pseudomonas putida as a robust platform for synthetic formate assimilation. Here, the metabolism of a genome-reduced variant of P. putida was radically rewired to establish synthetic auxotrophies that could be functionally complemented by expressing components of the reductive glycine (rGly) pathway. We adopted a modular engineering approach, dividing C1 assimilation in segments composed of both heterologous activities (sourced from Methylobacterium extorquens) and native biochemical reactions. Modular expression of rGly pathway elements enabled growth on formate as carbon source and acetate (predominantly for energy supply), and adaptive laboratory evolution of two lineages of engineered P. putida formatotrophs lead to doubling times of ca. 15 h. We likewise identified emergent metabolic features for assimilation of C1 units in these evolved P. putida populations. Taken together, our results consolidate the landscape of useful microbial platforms that can be implemented for C1-based biotechnological production towards a formate bioeconomy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Volume74
Pages (from-to)191-205
ISSN1096-7176
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • C1 assimilation
  • Formate bioeconomy
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Reductive glycine pathway
  • Synthetic biology
  • Synthetic metabolism

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