Deletion of meso-2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase gene budC for enhanced D-2,3-butanediol production in Bacillus licheniformis
BACKGROUND 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD), a platform and fuel bio-chemical, can be efficiently produced by Klebsiella pneumonia, K. oxytoca, and Serratia marcescens. However, these strains are opportunistic pathogens and not favorable for industrial application. Although some generally regarded as safe (GRAS) microorganisms have been isolated in recent years, there is still a demand for safe 2,3-BD producing strains with high productivity and yield under thermophilic fermentation. RESULTS Bacillus licheniformis strain 10-1-A was newly isolated for 2,3-BD production. The optimum temperature and medium pH were 50°C and pH 7.0 for 2,3-BD production by strain 10-1-A. The medium composition was optimized through Plackett-Burman design and response surface methodology techniques. With a two-stage agitation speed control strategy, 115.7 g/L of 2,3-BD was obtained from glucose by fed-batch fermentation in a 5-L bioreactor with a high productivity (2.4 g/L·h) and yield (94% of its theoretical value). The 2,3-BD produced by strain 10-1-A comprises (2R,3R)-2,3-BD and meso-2,3-BD with a ratio of nearly 1:1. The bdh and gdh genes encoding meso-2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase (meso-BDH) and glycerol dehydrogenase (GDH) of strain 10-1-A were expressed in Escherichia coli and the proteins were purified. meso-2,3-BD and (2R,3R)-2,3-BD were transformed from racemic acetoin by meso-BDH and GDH with NADH, respectively. CONCLUSIONS Compared with the reported GRAS 2,3-BD producers, B. licheniformis 10-1-A could thermophilically produce 2,3-BD with a high concentration, productivity and yield. Thus, the newly isolated GRAS strain 10-1-A might be a promising strain for industrial production of 2,3-BD. Two key enzymes for meso-2,3-BD and (2R,3R)-2,3-BD production were purified and further studied, and this might be helpful to understand the mechanism for 2,3-BD stereoisomers forming in B. licheniformis.