Construction of plasmid-free Escherichia coli for the production of arabitol-free xylitol from corncob hemicellulosic hydrolysate

Su, B.; Zhang, Z.; Wu, M.; Lin, J.; Yang, L.

Scientific Reports 6: 26567


ISSN/ISBN: 2045-2322
PMID: 27225023
DOI: 10.1038/srep26567
Accession: 071503227

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High costs and low production efficiency are a serious constraint to bio-based xylitol production. For industrial-scale production of xylitol, a plasmid-free Escherichia coli for arabitol-free xylitol production from corncob hemicellulosic hydrolysate has been constructed. Instead of being plasmid and inducer dependent, this strain relied on multiple-copy integration of xylose reductase (XR) genes into the chromosome, where their expression was controlled by the constitutive promoter P43. In addition, to minimize the flux from L-arabinose to arabitol, two strategies including low XR total activity and high selectivity of XR has been adopted. Arabitol was significantly decreased using plasmid-free strain which had lower XR total activity and an eight point-mutations of XR with a 27-fold lower enzyme activity toward L-arabinose was achieved. The plasmid-free strain in conjunction with this mutant XR can completely eliminate arabitol formation in xylitol production. In fed-batch fermentation, this plasmid-free strain produced 143.8 g L(-1) xylitol at 1.84 g L(-1) h(-1) from corncob hemicellulosic hydrolysate. From these results, we conclude that this route by plasmid-free E. coli has potential to become a commercially viable process for xylitol production.