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n-Butanol and ethanol production from cellulose by Clostridium cellulovorans overexpressing heterologous aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenases

Bao, Teng, Zhao, Jingbo, Li, Jing, Liu, Xin, Yang, Shang-Tian
Bioresource technology 2019 v.285 pp. 121316
Clostridium acetobutylicum, Clostridium cellulovorans, NADP (coenzyme), alcohol dehydrogenase, biosynthesis, butanol, butyric acid, cellulose, ethanol, ethanol production, fermentation, glucose, metabolic engineering
With high cellulolytic and acetic/butyric acids production abilities, Clostridium cellulovorans is promising for use to produce cellulosic n-butanol. Here, we introduced three different aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenases encoded by bdhB, adhE1, and adhE2 from Clostridium acetobutylicum into C. cellulovorans and studied their effects on ethanol and n-butanol production. Compared to AdhE2, AdhE1 was more specific for n-butanol biosynthesis over ethanol. Co-expressing adhE1 with bdhB produced a comparable amount of butanol but significantly less ethanol, leading to a high butanol/ethanol ratio of 7.0 and 5.6 (g/g) in glucose and cellulose fermentation, respectively. Co-expressing adhE1 or adhE2 with bdhB did not increase butanol production because the activity of BdhB was limited by the NADPH availability in C. cellulovorans. Overall, the strain overexpressing adhE2 alone produced the most n-butanol (4.0 g/L, yield: 0.22 ± 0.01 g/g). Based on the insights from this study, further metabolic engineering of C. cellulovorans for cellulosic n-butanol production is suggested.