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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 May;70(5):2861-6.

Heterologous expression of lactose- and galactose-utilizing pathways from lactic acid bacteria in Corynebacterium glutamicum for production of lysine in whey.

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  • 1Dairy Products Research Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Ireland.


The genetic determinants for lactose utilization from Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus ATCC 11842 and galactose utilization from Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris MG 1363 were heterologously expressed in the lysine-overproducing strain Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 21253. The C. glutamicum strains expressing the lactose permease and beta-galactosidase genes of L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus exhibited beta-galactosidase activity in excess of 1000 Miller units/ml of cells and were able to grow in medium in which lactose was the sole carbon source. Similarly, C. glutamicum strains containing the lactococcal aldose-1-epimerase, galactokinase, UDP-glucose-1-P-uridylyltransferase, and UDP-galactose-4-epimerase genes in association with the lactose permease and beta-galactosidase genes exhibited beta-galactosidase levels in excess of 730 Miller units/ml of cells and were able to grow in medium in which galactose was the sole carbon source. When grown in whey-based medium, the engineered C. glutamicum strain produced lysine at concentrations of up to 2 mg/ml, which represented a 10-fold increase over the results obtained with the lactose- and galactose-negative control, C. glutamicum 21253. Despite their increased catabolic flexibility, however, the modified corynebacteria exhibited slower growth rates and plasmid instability.

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