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J Biotechnol. 2006 Jul 13;124(2):381-91. Epub 2006 Feb 20.

Utilization of soluble starch by a recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum strain: growth and lysine production.

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Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Ulm, Germany.


Corynebacterium glutamicum, well known for the industrial production of amino acids, grows aerobically on a variety of mono- and disaccharides and on alcohols and organic acids as single or combined sources of carbon and energy. Members of the genera Corynebacterium and Brevibacterium were here tested for their ability to use the homopolysaccharide starch as a substrate for growth. None of the 24 type strains tested showed growth on or degradation of this substrate, indicating that none of the strains synthesized and secreted starch-degrading enzymes. Introducing the Streptomyces griseus amy gene on an expression vector into the lysine-producer C. glutamicum DM1730, we constructed a C. glutamicum strain synthesizing and secreting alpha-amylase into the culture broth. Although some high-molecular-weight degradation products remained in the culture broth, this recombinant strain effectively used soluble starch as carbon and energy substrate for growth and also for lysine production. Thus, employment of our construct allows avoidance of the cost-intensive enzymatic hydrolysis of the starch, which commercially is used as a substrate in industrial amino acid fermentations.

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