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FEMS Yeast Res. 2007 May;7(3):413-21. Epub 2006 Nov 9.

Monoterpenoid biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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UMR Santé de la Vigne et Qualité du Vin, Université Louis Pasteur Strasbourg, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Colmar, France.


Plant monoterpenoids belong to a large family of plant secondary metabolites with valuable applications in cosmetics and medicine. Their usual low levels and difficult purification justify the need for alternative fermentative processes for large-scale production. Geranyl diphosphate is the universal precursor of monoterpenoids. In yeast it occurs exclusively as an intermediate of farnesyl diphosphate synthesis. In the present study we investigated the potential use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an alternative engineering tool. The expression of geraniol synthase of Ocimum basilicum in yeast allowed a strong and specific excretion of geraniol to the growth medium, in contrast to mutants defective in farnesyl diphosphate synthase which excreted geraniol and linalool in similar amounts. A further increase of geraniol synthesis was obtained using yeast mutants defective in farnesyl diphosphate synthase. We also showed that geraniol synthase expression affects the general ergosterol pathway, but in a manner dependent on the genetic background of the strain.

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