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    The energy crisis, depletion of oil reserves, and global climate changes are pressing problems of developed societies. One possibility to counteract that is microbial production of butanol, a promising new fuel and alternative to many petrochemical reagents. However, the high butanol toxicity to all known microbial species is the main obstacle to its industrial implementation. The present state of the art review aims to expound the recent advances in modern omics approaches to resolving this insurmountable to date problem of low butanol tolerance. Genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics show that butanol tolerance is a complex phenomenon affecting multiple genes and their expression. Efflux pumps, stress and multidrug response, membrane transport, and redox-related genes are indicated as being most important during butanol challenge, in addition to fine-tuning of global regulators of transcription (Spo0A, GntR), which may further improve tolerance. Lipidomics shows that the alterations in membrane composition (saturated lipids and plasmalogen increase) are very much species-specific and butanol-related. Glycomics discloses the pleiotropic effect of CcpA, the role of alternative sugar transport, and the production of exopolysaccharides as alternative routes to overcoming butanol stress. Unfortunately, the strain that simultaneously syntheses and tolerates butanol in concentrations that allow its commercialization has not yet been discovered or produced. Omics insight will allow the purposeful increase of butanol tolerance in natural and engineered producers and the effective heterologous expression of synthetic butanol pathways in strains hereditary butanol-resistant up to 3.2 - 4.9% (w/v). Future breakthrough can be achieved by a detailed study of the membrane proteome, of which 21% are proteins with unknown functions. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Alexander Arsov, Kaloyan Petrov, Penka Petrova. How to outwit nature: Omics insight into butanol tolerance. Biotechnology advances. 2021 Jan-Feb;46:107658

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    PMID: 33220435

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