While a majority of academic studies concerning acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE) production by Clostridium have focused on Clostridium acetobutylicum, other members of this genus have proven to be effective industrial workhorses despite the inability to perform genetic manipulations on many of these strains. To further improve the industrial performance of these strains in areas such as substrate usage, solvent production, and end product versatility, transformation methods and genetic tools are needed to overcome the genetic intractability displayed by these species. In this study, we present the development of a high-efficiency transformation method for the industrial butanol hyperproducer Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum strain N1-4 (HMT) ATCC 27021. Following initial failures, we found that the key to creating a successful transformation method was the identification of three distinct colony morphologies (types S, R, and I), which displayed significant differences in transformability. Working with the readily transformable type I cells (transformation efficiency, 1.1 × 106. CFU/μg DNA), we performed targeted gene deletions in C. saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4 using a homologous recombinationmediated allelic exchange method. Using plasmid-based gene overexpression and targeted knockouts of key genes in the native acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) metabolic pathway, we successfully implemented rational metabolic engineering strategies, yielding in the best case an engineered strain (Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum strain N1-4/pWIS13) displaying an 18% increase in butanol titers and 30% increase in total ABE titer (0.35 g ABE/g sucrose) in batch fermentations. Additionally, two engineered strains overexpressing aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenases (encoded by adh11 and adh5) displayed 8.5- and 11.8-fold increases (respectively) in batch ethanol production.
- ABE fermentation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology