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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2004 Dec 20;88(6):681-9.

Strain improvement and metabolic flux analysis in the wild-type and a mutant Lactobacillus lactis strain for L(+)-lactic acid production.

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Department of Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering & Technology,Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People's Republic of China.


The effects of initial glucose concentration and calcium lactate concentration on the lactic acid production by the parent strain, Lactobacillus lactis BME5-18, were studied. The results of the experiments indicated that glucose and lactate repressed the cell growth and the lactic acid production by Lactobacillus lactis BME5-18. A L(+)-lactic acid overproducing strain, Lactobacillus lactis BME5-18M, was screened by mutagenizing the parent strain with ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation and selecting the high glucose and lactate calcium concentration repression resistant mutant. Starting with a concentration of 100g L(-1) glucose, the mutant produced 98.6 g L(-1) lactic acid after 60 h in flasks, 73.9% higher than that of the parent strain. The L(+)-lactic acid purity was 98.1% by weight based on the amount of total lactic acid. The culture of the parent strain could not be analyzed well by conventional metabolic flux analysis techniques, since some pyruvate were accumulated intracellularly. Therefore, a revised flux analysis method was proposed by introducing intracellular pyruvate pool. Further studies demonstrate that there is a high level of NADH oxidase activity (12.11 mmol mg(-1) min(-1)) in the parent strain. The molecular mechanisms of the strain improvement were proposed, i.e., the high level of NADH oxidase activity was eliminated and the uptake rate of glucose was increased from 82.1 C-mmol (g DW h)(-1) to 98.9 C-mmol (g DW h)(-1) by mutagenizing the parent strain with UV, and therefore the mutant strain converts mostly pyruvate to lactic acid with a higher productivity (1.76 g L(-1) h(-1)) than the parent strain (0.95 g L(-1) h(-1)).

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