Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-4HB)] is one of the most promising biomaterials expected to be used in a wide range of scenarios. However, its large-scale production is still hindered by the high cost. Here we report the engineering of Halomonas bluephagenesis as a low-cost platform for non-sterile and continuous fermentative production of P(3HB-co-4HB) from glucose. Two interrelated 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB) biosynthesis pathways were constructed to guarantee 4HB monomer supply for P(3HB-co-4HB) synthesis by working in concert with 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) pathway. Interestingly, only 0.17?mol% 4HB in the copolymer was obtained during shake flask studies. Pathway debugging using structurally related carbon source located the failure as insufficient 4HB accumulation. Further whole genome sequencing and comparative genomic analysis identified multiple orthologs of succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (gabD) that may compete with 4HB synthesis flux in H. bluephagenesis. Accordingly, combinatory gene-knockout strains were constructed and characterized, through which the molar fraction of 4HB was increased by 24-fold in shake flask studies. The best-performing strain was grown on glucose as the single carbon source for 60?h under non-sterile conditions in a 7-L bioreactor, reaching 26.3?g/L of dry cell mass containing 60.5% P(3HB-co-17.04?mol%4HB). Besides, 4HB molar fraction in the copolymer can be tuned from 13?mol% to 25?mol% by controlling the residual glucose concentration in the cultures. This is the first study to achieve the production of P(3HB-co-4HB) from only glucose using Halomonas. Copyright © 2018 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Journal: Metabolic engineering