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Biotechnol Lett. 2009 Nov;31(11):1789-93. doi: 10.1007/s10529-009-0082-6. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

Carotenoid production in Bacillus subtilis achieved by metabolic engineering.

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Department of Bioproductive Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University, 350 Minemachi, Utsunomiya, Tochigi, 321-8505, Japan.


The carotenoid synthetic genes, crtM and crtN, derived from Staphylococcus aureus, were introduced into B. subtilis, resulting in yellow pigmentation. Absorption maxima of pigments and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry demonstrated that the pigmented strain accumulated two C(30) carotenoids, 4,4'-diapolycopene and 4,4'-diaponeurosporene. A survival test using H(2)O(2) revealed that the pigmented strain was more resistant to oxidative stress than the strain harboring an empty-vector. These findings indicate that B. subtilis can produce carotenoids, and the strain accumulating the carotenoids, CarotenoBacillus, will become a basal host for production of C(30) carotenoids and evaluation of their antioxidative effects.

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