Genome Of Industrial Microorganism Reveals High Tolerance Of Toxic Chemicals

Not only is Clostridium tyrobutyricum able to produce butyric acid, it is also has a higher tolerance to toxic 1-butanol than other bacterial strains.

AsianScientist (Jun. 30, 2016) – Researchers in South Korea have recently sequenced the whole genome of the Clostridium tyrobutyricum bacterium, which has a higher tolerance to toxic chemicals than other clostridial bacterial strains.

Their work, published in mBio, highlights the bacterium’s potential to replace traditional bacterial hosts in the production of useful industrial chemicals.

C. tyrobutyricum is considered a promising industrial host strain for producing butyric acid, which has many applications in the biofuel industry. Yet, it has received little attention mainly due to a limited understanding of its genotypic and metabolic characteristics at the genome level.

The research team, headed by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, deciphered the genome sequence of C. tyrobutyricum through a genoproteomic approach—a combination of genomics and proteomics.

As a result of their research, the team learned that the bacterium is not only capable of producing a large amount of butyric acid, but can also tolerate toxic compounds such as 1-butanol. To date, the bio-based production of 1-butanol, a next-generation biofuel, has relied on several clostridial hosts, including Clostridium acetobutylicum and Clostridium beijerinckii. However, these organisms have a low tolerance against 1-butanol, even though they are naturally capable of producing it.

C. tyrobutyricum cannot produce 1-butanol itself, but compared to those two species, has a higher tolerance to it. It also possesses a novel butyrate-producing pathway, and is able to conserve energy under anaerobic conditions.

“The unique metabolic features and energy conservation mechanisms of C. tyrobutyricum can be employed in the various microbial hosts we have previously developed to further improve their productivity and yield,” said Lee.

“Moreover, findings on C. tyrobutyricum revealed by this study will be the first step to directly engineer this bacterium.”

The article can be found at: Lee et al. (2016) Deciphering Clostridium tyrobutyricum Metabolism Based on the Whole-Genome Sequence and Proteome Analyses.


Source: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
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