Scientists create new 'Y-shaped' synthetic consortium for efficient bio-manufacturing

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A group of Chinese scientists have recently developed a new synthetic consortium for efficient pentose-hexose co-utilization that could improve bio-manufacturing. Converting biomass into valuable fuels and chemicals using microbes is a hot topic in bio-manufacturing. However, inefficient pentose-hexose co-utilization has hindered the conversion process.

Professor Li Yin and his team at the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) proposed using a Y-shaped consortium to solve this problem. They took butanol as the target product and developed a Y-shaped synthetic consortium using systematically engineered E. coli .

The "Y-shaped" synthetic consortium is composed of two engineering strains derived from the same original strain. The two separate "heads" represent the pentose and hextose , while the unitary "body" represents the synthetic pathway of the target product.

In batch fermentation of mixed sugars, this Y-shaped synthetic consortium has achieved a yield of ~21 g/L butanol. This represents 85% of the theoretical value, the highest percentage yield ever reported, according to Li's team.

Further analysis has shown that efficient simultaneous utilization of sugar mixtures with different pentose/hexose ratios and different aeration conditions can be achieved by adjusting the initial structure of the Y-shaped consortium.

"This further indicates the adaptability and stability of the Y-shaped , which may be used in ," said Li.

This work provides new insights into efficient pentose-hextose co-utilization by a synthetic microbiome. It also lays a foundation for further reducing the cost of producing biobutanol.


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More information: Chunhua Zhao et al, Design and development of a "Y-shaped" microbial consortium capable of simultaneously utilizing biomass sugars for efficient production of butanol, Metabolic Engineering (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2019.06.012
Citation: Scientists create new 'Y-shaped' synthetic consortium for efficient bio-manufacturing (2019, July 8) retrieved 13 November 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-scientists-y-shaped-synthetic-consortium-efficient.html
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