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J Biotechnol. 2005 Mar 30;116(3):283-94. Epub 2005 Jan 7.

Improved mannitol production by a random mutant of Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides.

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Laboratory of Bioprocess Engineering, Department of Chemical Technology, Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 9400, FIN-02015 Espoo, Finland.


A mutant of Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides ATCC12291 that was unable to grow on fructose was constructed by chemical mutagenesis. The fructose uptake of this mutant, designated as BPT143, was unaltered and allowed fructose still to be converted into mannitol when glucose was present in the growth medium. The mutant grew and consumed fructose faster than the parent strain when grown in a medium containing both glucose and fructose. The specific activity of fructokinase, the enzyme involved in phosphorylation of fructose to fructose-6-phosphate, was decreased to about 10% of that of the parent strain, and resulted in a reduced leakage of fructose into the phosphoketolase (PK) pathway. The yield of mannitol from fructose was improved from 74 to 86 mol%. The increased fructose consumption rate and higher mannitol yield of the mutant also resulted in improvement of volumetric mannitol productivity. In addition, isolation and characterization of the wild type L. pseudomesenteroides fructokinase gene (fruK) was performed. DNA sequence analysis of the fruK gene region of BPT143 revealed only one silent mutation which does not explain the highly reduced fructokinase activity of the mutant. The genetic characterization of fruK was completed by analyzing the expression, size and 5' end of fruK transcripts. Expression data with BPT143, revealing absence of fruK transcripts, was in accordance with the reduced fructokinase activity of the mutant.

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