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Formate is a promising environmentally friendly and sustainable feedstock synthesized from syngas or carbon dioxide. Methylorubrum extorquens is a type II methylotroph that can use formate as a carbon source. It accumulates polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) inside the cell, mainly producing poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), a degradable biopolymer. Owing to its high melting point and stiff nature, however, mechanical property improvement is warranted in the form of copolymerization. To produce the PHA copolymer, poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), the endogenous gene phaC was deleted and the pathway genes bktB, phaJ1, and phaC2, with broader substrate specificities, were heterologously expressed. To improve the incorporation of 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV), the expression level of bktB was improved by untranslated region (UTR) engineering, and the endogenous gene phaA was deleted. The engineered M. extorquens produced PHBV with 8.9% 3HV using formate as the sole carbon source. In addition, when propionate and butyrate were supplemented, PHBVs with 3HV portions of up to 70.6% were produced. This study shows that a PHBV copolymer with a high proportion of 3HV can be synthesized using formate, a C1 carbon source, through metabolic engineering and supplementation with short-chain fatty acids. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Jihee Yoon, Woojin Chang, Seung-Hwan Oh, Soo-Hyung Choi, Yung-Hun Yang, Min-Kyu Oh. Metabolic engineering of Methylorubrum extorquens AM1 for poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) production using formate. International journal of biological macromolecules. 2021 Apr 30;177:284-293

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PMID: 33610606

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