Comparative whole-genome sequencing enables the identification of specific mutations during adaptation of bacteria to new environments and allelic replacement can establish their causality. However, the mechanisms of action are hard to decipher and little has been achieved for epistatic mutations, especially at the metabolic level. Here we show that a strain of Escherichia coli carrying mutations in the rpoC and glpK genes, derived from adaptation in glycerol, uses two distinct metabolic strategies to gain growth advantage. A 27-bp deletion in the rpoC gene first increases metabolic efficiency. Then, a point mutation in the glpK gene promotes growth by improving glycerol utilization but results in increased carbon wasting as overflow metabolism. In a strain carrying both mutations, these contrasting carbon/energy saving and wasting mechanisms work together to give an 89% increase in growth rate. This study provides insight into metabolic reprogramming during adaptive laboratory evolution for fast cellular growth.
In this study, the methanolysis process of sunflower oil was investigated to get high methyl esters (biodiesel) content using sodium methoxide. To reach to the best process conditions, central composite design (CCD) through response surface methodology (RSM) was employed. The optimal conditions predicted were the reaction time of 60 min, an excess stoichiometric amount of alcohol to oil ratio of 25%w/w and the catalyst content of 0.5%w/w, which lead to the highest methyl ester content (100%w/w). The methyl ester content of the mixture from gas chromatography analysis (GC) was compared to that of optimum point. Results, confirmed that there was no significant difference between the fatty acid methyl ester content of sunflower oil produced under the optimized condition and the experimental value (P ≥ 0.05). Furthermore, some fuel specifications of the resultant biodiesel were tested according to American standards for testing of materials (ASTM) methods. The outcome showed that the methyl ester mixture produced from the optimized condition met nearly most of the important biodiesel specifications recommended in ASTM D 6751 requirements. Thus, the sunflower oil methyl esters resulted from this study could be a suitable alternative for petrol diesels.
Oxygenated fuel additives can be produced by acetylation of glycerol. A 91% glycerol conversion with a selectivity of 38%, 28% and 34% for mono-, di- and triacetyl glyceride, respectively, was achieved at 120 °C and 3 h of reaction time in the presence of a catalyst derived from activated carbon (AC) treated with sulfuric acid at 85 °C for 4h to introduce acidic functionalities to its surface. The unique catalytic activity of the catalyst, AC-SA5, was attributed to the presence of sulfur containing functional groups on the AC surface, which enhanced the surface interaction between the glycerol molecule and acyl group of the acetic acid. The catalyst was reused in up to four consecutive batch runs and no significant decline of its initial activity was observed. The conversion and selectivity variation during the acetylation is attributed to the reaction time, reaction temperature, catalyst loading and glycerol to acetic acid molar ratio.
Succinic acid is an important platform chemical that has broad applications and is been listed as one of the top twelve bio-based chemicals produced from biomass by the US Department of Energy. The metabolic role of Escherichia coli formate dehydrogenase-O (fdoH) under anaerobic conditions in relation to succinic acid production remained largely unspecified. Herein we report, what are to our knowledge, the first metabolic fdoH gene knockout that have enhanced succinate production using glucose and glycerol substrates in E. coli. Using the most recent E. coli reconstruction iJO1366, we engineered its host metabolism to enhance the anaerobic succinate production by deleting the fdoH gene, which blocked H(+) conduction across the mutant cell membrane for the enhanced succinate production. The engineered mutant strain BMS4 showed succinate production of 2.05 g l(-1) (41.2-fold in 7 days) from glycerol and .39 g l(-1) (6.2-fold in 1 day) from glucose. This work revealed that a single deletion of the fdoH gene is sufficient to increase succinate production in E. coli from both glucose and glycerol substrates.
Lovastatin is widely prescribed to reduce elevated levels of cholesterol and prevent heart-related diseases. Cultivation of Aspergillus terreus (ATCC 20542) with carbohydrates or low-value feedstocks such as glycerol produces lovastatin as a secondary metabolite and (+)-geodin as a by-product. An A. terreus mutant strain was developed (gedCΔ) with a disrupted (+)-geodin biosynthesis pathway. The gedCΔ mutant was created by inserting the antibiotic marker hygromycin B (hyg) within the gedC gene that encodes emodin anthrone polyketide synthase (PKS), a primary gene responsible for initiating (+)-geodin biosynthesis. The effects of emodin anthrone PKS gene disruption on (+)-geodin and lovastatin biosynthesis and the production of the precursors acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA were investigated with cultures based on glycerol alone and in combination with lactose. The gedCΔ strain showed improved lovastatin production, particularly when cultivated on the glycerol-lactose mixture, increasing lovastatin production by 80% (113 mg/L) while simultaneously inhibiting (+)-geodin biosynthesis compared to the wild-type strain. This study thus shows that suppression of the (+)-geodin pathway increases lovastatin yield and demonstrates a practical approach of manipulating carbon flux by modulating enzyme activity.
Succinic acid is an important platform chemical with a variety of applications. Model-guided metabolic engineering strategies in Escherichia coli for strain improvement to increase succinic acid production using glucose and glycerol remain largely unexplored. Herein, we report what are, to our knowledge, the first metabolic knockout of the atpE gene to have increased succinic acid production using both glucose and alternative glycerol carbon sources in E. coli. Guided by a genome-scale metabolic model, we engineered the E. coli host to enhance anaerobic production of succinic acid by deleting the atpE gene, thereby generating additional reducing equivalents by blocking H(+) conduction across the mutant cell membrane. This strategy produced 1.58 and .49 g l(-1) of succinic acid from glycerol and glucose substrate, respectively. This work further elucidates a model-guided and/or system-based metabolic engineering, involving only a single-gene deletion strategy for enhanced succinic acid production in E. coli.
Yangia sp. ND199 is a moderately halophilic bacterium isolated from mangrove samples in Northern Vietnam, which was earlier reported to grow on several sugars and glycerol to accumulate poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (PHA). In this study, the potential of the bacterium for co-production of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and PHA was investigated. Genome sequence analysis of the closely related Yangia sp. CCB-M3 isolated from mangroves in Malaysia revealed genes encoding enzymes participating in different EPS biosynthetic pathways. The effects of various cultivation parameters on the production of EPS and PHA were studied. The highest level of EPS (288 mg/L) was achieved using sucrose and yeast extract with 5% NaCl and 120 mM phosphate salts but with modest PHA accumulation (32% of cell dry weight, 1.3 g/L). Growth on fructose yielded the highest PHA concentration (85% of CDW, 3.3 g/L) at 90 mM phosphate and higher molecular weight EPS at 251 mg/L yield at 120 mM phosphate concentration. Analysis of EPS showed a predominance of glucose, followed by fructose and galactose, and minor amounts of acidic sugars.
Lipid biosynthesis produces glycerol, which is important in fueling turgor pressure necessary for germination and penetration of plant host by fungi. As the relationship between pathogenicity and the lipid biosynthetic pathway is not fully understood, we have elucidated the role of the fatty acid synthase beta subunit dehydratase (FAS1) gene in lipid biosynthesis. The FAS1 gene was silenced through homologous double crossover in Magnaporthe oryzae strain S6 to study the effect on lipid biosynthesis. The vegetative growth of Δfas1 mutants show the highest drop on oleic acid (between 10 and 50%), while the mycelial dry weight of mutants dropped significantly on all media. Conidiation of FAS1 mutants show a ~10- and ~5-fold reduction on oatmeal and Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA), respectively. Mutants formed mycelium that were mildly pigmented, indicating that the deletion of FAS1 may have affected melanin biosynthesis. Biochemical and gene expression studies concluded that the fatty acid degradation pathway might have been interrupted by FAS1 deletion. FAS1 mutants showed no enzyme activity on glucose or olive oil, suggesting that the mutants may lack functional peroxisomes and be defective in β-oxidation of fatty acids, hence explaining the reduced lipid deposits in the spores.