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N Biotechnol. 2014 Dec 25;31(6):562-71. doi: 10.1016/j.nbt.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Feb 23.

Robustness of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 as a host for ethanol biosynthesis.

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Systems and Synthetic Biology Program, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Madrid 28049, Spain.
Systems and Synthetic Biology Program, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Madrid 28049, Spain. Electronic address:


Expansion of the burgeoning biofuels agenda involves not only the design of suitable genetic and metabolic devices but also their deployment into suitable hosts that can endure the stress brought about by the products themselves. The microorganisms that are easiest to genetically manipulate for these endeavors (e.g. Escherichia coli) are often afflicted by an undesirable sensitivity to the very product that they are engineered to synthesize. In this context, we have examined the resistance to the stress arising from ethanol synthesis and/or its addition to cultures of recombinant Pseudomonas putida, using as a benchmark the same trait in an E. coli strain. To this end, ethanologenic strains of these two species were constructed by functionally expressing pdc (pyruvate decarboxylase) and adhB (alcohol dehydrogenase) from Zymomonas mobilis. Recombinants were compared under anoxic conditions as ethanol producers, and cell survival, stress resistance, and phenotypic stability were quantified in each case. P. putida consistently outperformed E. coli in every ethanol tolerance test conducted - whether the alcohol was produced endogenously or added exogenously. These results highlight the value of this bacterium as a microbial cell factory for the production of biofuels owing to its naturally pre-evolved ability to withstand different kinds of chemical stresses.

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