Formate and Nitrate Utilization in Enterobacter aerogenes for Semi-Anaerobic Production of Isobutanol

Hwi Min Jung, Yong Hwan Kim, Min Kyu Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Anaerobic bioprocessing is preferred because of its economic advantages. However, low productivity and decreased growth of the host strain have limited the use of the anaerobic process. Anaerobic respiration can be applied to anoxic processing using formate and nitrate metabolism to improve the productivity of value-added metabolites. A isobutanol-producing strains is constructed using Enterobacter aerogenes as a host strain by metabolic engineering approaches. The byproduct pathway (ldhA, budA, and pflB) is knocked out, and heterologous keto-acid decarboxylase (kivD) and alcohol dehydrogenase (adhA) are expressed along with the L-valine synthesis pathway (ilvCD and budB). The pyruvate formate-lyase mutant shows decreased growth rates when cultivated in semi-anaerobic conditions, which results in a decline in productivity. When formate and nitrate are supplied in the culture medium, the growth rates and amount of isobutanol production is restored (4.4 g L−1, 0.23 g g−1 glucose, 0.18 g L−1 h−1). To determine the function of the formate and nitrate coupling reaction system, the mutant strains that could not utilize formate or nitrate is contructed. Decreased growth and productivity are observed in the nitrate reductase (narG) mutant strain. This is the first report of engineering isobutanol-producing E. aerogenes to increase strain fitness via augmentation of formate and nitrate metabolism during anaerobic cultivation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700121
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • formate
  • isobutanol
  • nitrate
  • semi-anaerobic cultivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine


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