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Production of 5-ketofructose from fructose or sucrose using genetically modified Gluconobacter oxydans strains

Siemen, Anna, Kosciow, Konrad, Schweiger, Paul, Deppenmeier, Uwe
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.4 pp. 1699-1710
Gluconobacter oxydans, acetates, coculture, consumer demand, fermentation, fructose, genes, glucose, moieties, nonnutritive sweeteners, sucrose, sugar beet, sweet-tasting compounds
The growing consumer demand for low-calorie, sugar-free foodstuff motivated us to search for alternative non-nutritive sweeteners. A promising sweet-tasting compound is 5-keto-D-fructose (5-KF), which is formed by membrane-bound fructose dehydrogenases (Fdh) in some Gluconobacter strains. The plasmid-based expression of the fdh genes in Gluconobacter (G.) oxydans resulted in a much higher Fdh activity in comparison to the native host G. japonicus. Growth experiments with G. oxydans fdh in fructose-containing media indicated that 5-KF was rapidly formed with a conversion efficiency of 90%. 5-KF production from fructose was also observed using resting cells with a yield of about 100%. In addition, a new approach was tested for the production of the sweetener 5-KF by using sucrose as a substrate. To this end, a two-strain system composed of the fdh-expressing strain and a G. oxydans strain that produced the sucrose hydrolyzing SacC was developed. The strains were co-cultured in sucrose medium and converted 92.5% of the available fructose units into 5-KF. The glucose moiety of sucrose was converted to 2-ketogluconate and acetate. With regard to the development of a sustainable and resource-saving process for the production of 5-KF, sugar beet extract was used as substrate for the two-strain system. Fructose as product from sucrose cleavage was mainly oxidized to 5-KF which was detected in a concentration of over 200 mM at the end of the fermentation process. In summary, the two-strain system was able to convert fructose units of sugar beet extract to 5-KF with an efficiency of 82 ± 5%.