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Synthetic metabolic pathway for the production of 1-alkenes from lignin-derived molecules

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages13
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Background: Integration of synthetic metabolic pathways to catabolically diverse chassis provides new opportunities for sustainable production. One attractive scenario is the use of abundant waste material to produce a readily collectable product, which can reduce the production costs. Towards that end, we established a cellular platform for the production of semivolatile medium-chain α-olefins from lignin-derived molecules: we constructed 1-undecene synthesis pathway in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 using ferulate, a lignin-derived model compound, as the sole carbon source for both cell growth and product synthesis. Results: In order to overcome the toxicity of ferulate, we first applied adaptive laboratory evolution to A. baylyi ADP1, resulting in a highly ferulate-tolerant strain. The adapted strain exhibited robust growth in 100 mM ferulate while the growth of the wild type strain was completely inhibited. Next, we expressed two heterologous enzymes in the wild type strain to confer 1-undecene production from glucose: a fatty acid decarboxylase UndA from Pseudomonas putida, and a thioesterase 'TesA from Escherichia coli. Finally, we constructed the 1-undecene synthesis pathway in the ferulate-tolerant strain. The engineered cells were able to produce biomass and 1-undecene solely from ferulate, and excreted the product directly to the culture headspace. Conclusions: In this study, we employed a bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 to integrate a natural aromatics degrading pathway to a synthetic production route, allowing the upgradation of lignin derived molecules to value-added products. We developed a highly ferulate-tolerant strain and established the biosynthesis of an industrially relevant chemical, 1-undecene, solely from the lignin-derived model compound. This study reports the production of alkenes from lignin derived molecules for the first time and demonstrates the potential of lignin as a sustainable resource in the bio-based synthesis of valuable products.

Keywords

  • 1-Alkenes, Acinetobacter baylyi, Adaptive laboratory evolution, Ferulate, Lignin

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland