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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 May;69(5):2831-41.

Expression of a cloned cyclopropane fatty acid synthase gene reduces solvent formation in Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.


The cyclopropane fatty acid synthase gene (cfa) of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 was cloned and overexpressed under the control of the clostridial ptb promoter. The function of the cfa gene was confirmed by complementation of an Escherichia coli cfa-deficient strain in terms of fatty acid composition and growth rate under solvent stress. Constructs expressing cfa were introduced into C. acetobutylicum hosts and cultured in rich glucose broth in static flasks without pH control. Overexpression of the cfa gene in the wild type and in a butyrate kinase-deficient strain increased the cyclopropane fatty acid content of early-log-phase cells as well as initial acid and butanol resistance. However, solvent production in the cfa-overexpressing strain was considerably decreased, while acetate and butyrate levels remained high. The findings suggest that overexpression of cfa results in changes in membrane properties that dampen the full induction of solventogenesis. The overexpression of a marR homologous gene preceding the cfa gene in the clostridial genome resulted in reduced cyclopropane fatty acid accumulation.

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