Crop Biotech Update

Chinese Scientists Improve Microbe's Succinate-Producing Ability

April 18, 2018

Succinate is one of the most important bio-based building block chemical because of its numerous potential applications. However, efficient production of succinate from lignocellulosic feedstock is rarely reported. A study conducted by Yufeng Mao, Guiying Li, and Zhishuai Chang of Tianjin University in China aimed to engineer Corynebacterium glutamicum to efficiently produce succinate from lignocellulosic hydrolysate.

The team first expressed xylA and xylB genes from Xanthomonas campestris in C. glutamicum strain SAZ3 to accelerate xylose consumption and cell growth. Several other genes were also expressed in SAZ3 to achieve succinate production from xylose.

Xylose utilization and succinate production of SAZ3 were further improved by overexpressing SAZ3's tkt and tal genes as well as introducing the araE gene from Bacillus subtilis. The resulting strain, termed C. glutamicum CGS5, showed an excellent ability to produce succinate by consuming a glucose–xylose mixture under anaerobic conditions.

This work introduces an efficient process for the bioconversion of biomass into succinate using a thoroughly engineered strain of C. glutamicum. This microorganism could be a promising platform for succinate production from lignocellulosic feedstock.

For more information, read the article in Biotechnology for Biofuels.