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    1-Octanol has gained interest as a chemical precursor for both high and low value commodities including fuel, solvents, surfactants, and fragrances. By harnessing the power from sunlight and CO2 as carbon source, cyanobacteria has recently been engineered for renewable production of 1-octanol. The productivity, however, remained low. In the present work, we report efforts to further improve the 1-octanol productivity. Different N-terminal truncations were evaluated on three thioesterases from different plant species, resulting in several candidate thioesterases with improved activity and selectivity toward octanoyl-ACP. The structure/function trials suggest that current knowledge and/or state-of-the art computational tools are insufficient to determine the most appropriate cleavage site for thioesterases in Synechocystis. Additionally, by tuning the inducer concentration and light intensity, we further improved the 1-octanol productivity, reaching up to 35% (w/w) carbon partitioning and a titer of 526 ± 5 mg/L 1-octanol in 12 days. Long-term cultivation experiments demonstrated that the improved strain can be stably maintained for at least 30 days and/or over ten times serial dilution. Surprisingly, the improved strain was genetically stable in contrast to earlier strains having lower productivity (and hence a reduced chance of reaching toxic product concentrations). Altogether, improved enzymes and environmental conditions (e.g., inducer concentration and light intensity) substantially increased the 1-octanol productivity. When cultured under continuous conditions, the bioproduction system reached an accumulative titer of >3.5 g/L 1-octanol over close to 180 days.


    Ian Sofian Yunus, Zhixuan Wang, Pachara Sattayawat, Jonathan Muller, Fessehaye W Zemichael, Klaus Hellgardt, Patrik R Jones. Improved Bioproduction of 1-Octanol Using Engineered Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. ACS synthetic biology. 2021 Jun 18;10(6):1417-1428

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    PMID: 34003632

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