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Metabolic engineering of Aspergillus oryzae for efficient production of l-malate directly from corn starch

Liu, Jingjing, Li, Jianghua, Shin, Hyun-dong, Du, Guocheng, Chen, Jian, Liu, Long
Journal of biotechnology 2017 v.262 pp. 40-46
Aspergillus oryzae, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, alpha-amylase, biobased products, byproducts, carbon, cell growth, corn starch, culture flasks, fermentation, gene overexpression, genes, glucan 1,4-alpha-glucosidase, glucose, malic acid, metabolic engineering, promoter regions, succinic acid, transcription (genetics)
l-Malate, an important chemical building block, has been widely applied in the food, pharmaceutical, and bio-based materials industries. In previous work, we engineered Aspergillus oryzae by rewiring the reductive tricarboxylic acid pathway to produce l-malate from glucose. To decrease the production cost, here, we further engineered A. oryzae to efficiently produce l-malate directly from corn starch with simultaneous liquefaction-saccharification and fermentation. First, a promoter PN5 was constructed by quintuple tandem of the 97-bp fragment containing the cis-element of the glucoamylase gene promoter (PglaA), and with the promoter PN5, the transcriptional level of glaA gene increased by 25–45%. Then, by co-overexpression of glaA, a-amylase (amyB) and a-glucosidase (agdA) genes with the promoter PN5, the l-malate titer increased from 55.5g/L to 72.0g/L with 100g/L corn starch in shake flask. In addition, to reduce the concentration of byproducts succinate and fumarate, a fumarase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which facilitated the transformation of fumarate to l-malate, was overexpressed. As a result, the concentration of succinate and fumarate decreased from 12.6 and 1.29g/L to 7.8 and 0.59g/L, and the l-malate titer increased from 72.0g/L to 78.5g/L. Finally, we found that the addition of glucose at the initial fermentation stage facilitated the cell growth and l-malate synthesis, and the l-malate titer further increased to 82.3g/L by co-fermentation of 30g/L glucose and 70g/L corn starch, with a productivity of 1.18g/L/h and a yield of 0.82g/g total carbon sources.