Utilizing an endogenous pathway for 1-butanol production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Tong Si, Yunzi Luo, Han Xiao, Huimin Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microbial production of higher alcohols from renewable feedstock has attracted intensive attention thanks to its potential as a source for next-generation gasoline substitutes. Here we report the discovery, characterization and engineering of an endogenous 1-butanol pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Upon introduction of a single gene deletion adh1δ, S. cerevisiae was able to accumulate more than 120mg/L 1-butanol from glucose in rich medium. Precursor feeding, 13C-isotope labeling and gene deletion experiments demonstrated that the endogenous 1-butanol production was dependent on catabolism of threonine in a manner similar to fusel alcohol production by the Ehrlich pathway. Specifically, the leucine biosynthesis pathway was engaged in the conversion of key 2-keto acid intermediates. Overexpression of the pathway enzymes and elimination of competing pathways achieved the highest reported 1-butanol titer in S. cerevisiae (242.8mg/L).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolic Engineering
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • 1-Butanol
  • Biofuel
  • Metabolic engineering
  • S. cerevisiae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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