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Rewiring the wax ester production pathway of acinetobacter baylyi ADP1

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalACS Synthetic Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2014
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Wax esters are industrially relevant high-value molecules. For sustainable production of wax esters, bacterial cell factories are suggested to replace the chemical processes exploiting expensive starting materials. However, it is well recognized that new sophisticated solutions employing synthetic biology toolbox are required to improve and tune the cellular production platform to meet the product requirements. For example, saturated wax esters with alkanol chain lengths C12 or C14 that are convenient for industrial uses are rare among bacteria. Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1, a natural producer of wax esters, is a convenient model organism for studying the potentiality and modifiability of wax esters in a natural host by means of synthetic biology. In order to establish a controllable production platform exploiting well-characterized biocomponents, and to modify the wax ester synthesis pathway of A. baylyi ADP1 in terms product quality, a fatty acid reductase complex LuxCDE with an inducible arabinose promoter was employed to replace the natural fatty acyl-CoA reductase acr1 in ADP1. The engineered strain was able to produce wax esters by the introduced synthetic pathway. Moreover, the fatty alkanol chain length profile of wax esters was found to shift toward shorter and more saturated carbon chains, C16:0 accounting for most of the alkanols. The study demonstrates the potentiality of recircuiting a biosynthesis pathway in a natural producer, enabling a regulated production of a customized bioproduct. Furthermore, the LuxCDE complex can be potentially used as a well-characterized biopart in a variety of synthetic biology applications involving the production of long-chain hydrocarbons. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


  • Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1, fatty-acyl CoA reductase, long chain aldehyde, luxCDE, recircuiting, wax ester

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