Metabolic Engineering of Serratia marcescens with the Bacterial Hemoglobin Gene: Alterations in Fermentation Pathways

Metabolic Engineering of Serratia marcescens with the Bacterial Hemoglobin Gene: Alterations in Fermentation Pathways

Metabolic Engineering of Serratia marcescens with the Bacterial Hemoglobin Gene: Alterations in Fermentation Pathways

Abstract

Serratia marcescens was transformed with plasmid vector pUC8 or pUC8 containing the bacterial (Vitreoscilla) hemoglobin gene (vgb) on either a 2.3-kb fragment (pUC8:15) or 1.4-kb fragment (pUC8:16) of Vitreoscilla DNA. The vgb-bearing strains were compared with the pUC8 transformant and untransformed S. marcescens with respect to growth in Luria-Bertani (LB) broth supplemented with glucose or casein acid hydrolysate. Growth (on a viable cell basis) was similar to that in unsupplemented LB. Total acid excretion (as estimated by medium pH) was similar for all strains in both LB plus 2% casein acid hydrolysate and LB without additions. Acid excretion in LB plus 2% glucose was somewhat greater at up to 10 h in culture for the two vgb-bearing strains; from 10 to 26 h in culture, the pHs of these cultures continued to decrease (to 4.1-4.2), whereas those of the non-vgb-bearing strains returned to near the starting pH (7.4-7.8). Concomitantly, after 26 h of culture in LB plus 2% glucose, the non-vgb-bearing strains had produced about 15 times as much acetoin and about three to four times as much 2,3-butanediol as the vgb-bearing strains. In general, for all strains, much more acetoin and 2,3-butanediol were produced in LB plus 2% glucose than in unsupplemented LB. The exception was acetoin production by the strain bearing vgb on plasmid pUC8:15; after 26 h of culture in LB without supplementation it was between three and four times that of the other strains, and about 50% higher than its level in LB plus 2% glucose. When grown with the 2% casein acid hydrolysate supplement, the strain bearing vgb on plasmid pUC8:15 produced much more acetoin and 2,3-butanediol than the other strains after 26 hours in culture. The results confirm that vgb can significantly alter carbon metabolism and suggest that the use of vgb technology for directed metabolic engineering may be a complicated process, depending in part on medium composition.

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