Background: 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) is the most widely studied value-added product that can be produced by feeding glycerol to bacteria, including Lactobacillus sp. However, previous research reported that L. reuteri only produced small amounts and had low productivity of 1,3-PDO. It is urgent to develop procedures that improve the production and productivity of 1,3-PDO.
Results:We identified a novel L. reuteri CH53 isolate that efficiently converted glycerol into 1,3-PDO, and performed batch co-fermentation with glycerol and glucose to evaluate its production of 1,3-PDO and other products. We optimized the fermentation conditions and nitrogen sources to increase the productivity. Fed-batch fermentation using corn steep liquor (CSL) as a replacement for beef extract led to 1,3-PDO production (68.32 ± 0.84 g/L) and productivity (1.27 ± 0.02 g/L/h) at optimized conditions (unaerated and 100 rpm). When CSL was used as an alternative nitrogen source, the activity of the vitamin B12-dependent glycerol dehydratase (dhaB) and 1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase (dhaT) increased. Also, the productivity and yield of 1,3-PDO increased as well. These results showed the highest productivity in Lactobacillus species. In addition, hurdle to 1,3-PDO production in this strain were identified via analysis of the half-maximal inhibitory concentration for growth (IC50) of numerous substrates and metabolites.
Conclusions:We used CSL as a low-cost nitrogen source to replace beef extract for 1,3-PDO production in L. reuteri CH53. These cells efficiently utilized crude glycerol and CSL to produce 1,3-PDO. This strain has great promise for the production of 1,3-PDO because it is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and non-pathogenic. Also, this strain has high productivity and high conversion yield.
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