Carbon partitioning to the terpenoid biosynthetic pathway enables heterologous β-phellandrene production in Escherichia coli cultures

Formighieri, Cinzia; Melis, Anastasios
December 2014
Archives of Microbiology;Dec2014, Vol. 196 Issue 12, p853
Academic Journal
Escherichia coli was used as a microbial system for the heterologous synthesis of β-phellandrene, a monoterpene of plant origin with several potential commercial applications. Expression of Lavandula angustifolia β-phellandrene synthase ( PHLS), alone or in combination with Picea abies geranyl-diphosphate synthase in E. coli, resulted in no β-phellandrene accumulation, in sharp contrast to observations with PHLS-transformed cyanobacteria. Lack of β-phellandrene biosynthesis in E. coli was attributed to the limited endogenous carbon partitioning through the native 2- C-methylerythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway. Heterologous co-expression of the mevalonic acid pathway, enhancing cellular carbon partitioning and flux toward the universal isoprenoid precursors, isopentenyl-diphosphate and dimethylallyl-diphosphate, was required to confer β-phellandrene production. Differences in endogenous carbon flux toward the synthesis of isoprenoids between photosynthetic ( Synechocystis) and non-photosynthetic bacteria ( E. coli) are discussed in terms of differences in the regulation of carbon partitioning through the MEP biosynthetic pathway in the two systems.


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