Researchers Engineer Escherichia coli for the Production of Branched-Chain Fatty Alcohols

The properties of branched long-chain fatty alcohols (BLFLs) make them more suitable as diesel fuel replacements and for other industrial applications than their straight-chain counterparts. While microbial production of straight long-chain fatty alcohols has been achieved, synthesis of BLFLs has never been done.

The team of Wen Jiang from Washington State University engineered four different biosynthetic pathways in Escherichia coli to produce BLFLs. The team then used a modular engineering to optimize the supply of precursors to their resulting strains. This optimization improved BLFL yield concentrations by up to 6 times. The best performing strain overexpressed 14 genes from 6 engineered operons and produced 350 mg/L of BLFLs in fed-batch fermenter.

This work provides knowledge for the production of BLFLs and related chemicals in high concentrations and yields.


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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