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Cyanobacteria are engineered via heterologous biosynthetic pathways to produce value-added chemicals via photosynthesis. Various chemicals have been successfully produced in engineered cyanobacteria. Chemical inducer-dependent promoters are used to induce the expression of target biosynthetic pathway genes. A chemical inducer is not ideal for large-scale reactions owing to its high cost; therefore, it is important to develop scaling-up methods to avoid their use. In this study, we designed a green light-inducible alcohol production system using the CcaS/CcaR green light gene expression system in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (PCC 6803). To establish the green light-inducible production of isobutanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol (3MB) in PCC 6803, keto-acid decarboxylase (kdc) and alcohol dehydrogenase (adh) were expressed under the control of the CcaS/CcaR system. Increases in the transcription level were induced by irradiation with red and green light without severe effects on host cell growth. We found that the production of isobutanol and 3MB from carbon dioxide (CO2) was induced under red and green light illumination and was substantially repressed under red light illumination alone. Finally, production titers of isobutanol and 3MB reached 238 mg L-1 and 75 mg L-1, respectively, in 5 days under red and green light illumination, and these values are comparable to those reported in previous studies using chemical inducers. A green light-induced alcohol production system was successfully integrated into cyanobacteria to produce value-added chemicals without using expensive chemical inducers. The green light-regulated production of isobutanol and 3MB from CO2 is eco-friendly and cost-effective. This study demonstrates that light regulation is a potential tool for producing chemicals and increases the feasibility of cyanobacterial bioprocesses. © 2022. The Author(s).


Shunichi Kobayashi, Shota Atsumi, Kazunori Ikebukuro, Koji Sode, Ryutaro Asano. Light-induced production of isobutanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol by metabolically engineered cyanobacteria. Microbial cell factories. 2022 Jan 06;21(1):7

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PMID: 34991586

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