2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BDO) is of considerable importance in the chemical, plastic, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. The main bacterial species producing this compound are considered pathogenic, hindering large-scale productivity. The species Paenibacillus brasilensis is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and is phylogenetically similar to P. polymyxa, a species widely used for 2,3-BDO production. Here, we demonstrate, for the first time, that P. brasilensis strains produce 2,3-BDO. Total 2,3-BDO concentrations for 15 P. brasilensis strains varied from 5.5 to 7.6 g/l after 8 h incubation at 32 °C in modified YEPD medium containing 20 g/l glucose. Strain PB24 produced 8.2 g/l of 2,3-BDO within a 12-h growth period, representing a yield of 0.43 g/g and a productivity of 0.68 g/l/h. An increase in 2,3-BDO production by strain PB24 was observed using higher concentrations of glucose, reaching 27 g/l of total 2,3-BDO in YEPD containing about 80 g/l glucose within a 72-h growth period. We sequenced the genome of P. brasilensis PB24 and uncovered at least six genes related to the 2,3-BDO pathway at four distinct loci. We also compared gene sequences related to the 2,3-BDO pathway in P. brasilensis PB24 with those of other spore-forming bacteria, and found strong similarity to P. polymyxa, P. terrae, and P. peoriae 2,3-BDO-related genes. Regulatory regions upstream of these genes indicated that they are probably co-regulated. Finally, we propose a production pathway from glucose to 2,3-BDO in P. brasilensis PB24. Although the gene encoding S-2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase (butA) was found in the genome of P. brasilensis PB24, only R,R-2,3- and meso-2,3-butanediol were detected by gas chromatography under the growth conditions tested here. Our findings can serve as a basis for further improvements to the metabolic capabilities of this little-studied Paenibacillus species in relation to production of the high-value chemical 2,3-butanediol.
Journal: Applied microbiology and biotechnology