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J Biotechnol. 2012 Oct 31;161(3):302-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2012.05.024. Epub 2012 Jul 4.

Heterologous expression of pentalenene synthase (PSS) from Streptomyces UC5319 in Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713AV Groningen, The Netherlands.


For the first time, the pentalenene synthase (PSS) gene from Streptomyces UC5319 was expressed in Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous, a native producer of astaxanthin. For the expression of the gene and the concurrent knock out of the native crtE or crtYB genes, two new vectors were engineered and used for the transformation of the wild-type strain of X. dendrorhous. The transformations resulted in white colonies, showing a complete shutdown of the carotenoid production. Furthermore, an additional vector was constructed for the insertion of the PSS gene in the rDNA of the yeast. All the mutant strains produce the sesquiterpene pentalenene and show no difference in growth when compared to the wild-type strain. In this report, we demonstrate that X. dendrorhous is a suitable host for the expression of heterologous terpene cyclases and for the production of foreign terpene compounds.

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