Confirmation and elimination of xylose metabolism bottlenecks in glucose phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system-deficient clostridium acetobutylicum for simultaneous utilization of glucose, xylose, and arabinose

Han Xiao, Yang Gu, Yuanyuan Ning, Yunliu Yang, Wilfrid J. Mitchell, Weihong Jiang, Sheng Yang

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105 Citations (Scopus)


Efficient cofermentation of D-glucose, D-xylose, and L-arabinose, three major sugars present in lignocellulose, is a fundamental requirement for cost-effective utilization of lignocellulosic biomass. The Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum, known for its excellent capability of producing ABE (acetone, butanol, and ethanol) solvent, is limited in using lignocellulose because of inefficient pentose consumption when fermenting sugar mixtures. To overcome this substrate utilization defect, a predicted glcG gene, encoding enzyme II of the D-glucose phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system (PTS), was first disrupted in the ABE-producing model strain Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824, resulting in greatly improved D-xylose and L-arabinose consumption in the presence of D-glucose. Interestingly, despite the loss of GlcG, the resulting mutant strain 824glcG fermented D-glucose as efficiently as did the parent strain. This could be attributed to residual glucose PTS activity, although an increased activity of glucose kinase suggested that non-PTS glucose uptake might also be elevated as a result of glcG disruption. Furthermore, the inherent rate-limiting steps of the D-xylose metabolic pathway were observed prior to the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) in strain ATCC 824 and then overcome by co-overexpression of the D-xylose proton-symporter (cac1345), D-xylose isomerase (cac2610), and xylulokinase (cac2612). As a result, an engineered strain (824glcG-TBA), obtained by integrating glcG disruption and genetic overexpression of the xylose pathway, was able to efficiently coferment mixtures of D-glucose, D-xylose, and L-arabinose, reaching a 24% higher ABE solvent titer (16.06 g/liter) and a 5% higher yield (0.28 g/g) compared to those of the wild-type strain. This strain will be a promising platform host toward commercial exploitation of lignocellulose to produce solvents and biofuels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7886-7895
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

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