Current advances of succinate biosynthesis in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli.
Production of succinic acid from glucose by Escherichia coli strain AFP184 was studied in a batch fermentor. The bases used for pH control included NaOH, KOH, NH(4)OH, and Na(2)CO(3). The yield of succinic acid without and with carbon dioxide supplied by an adjacent ethanol fermentor using either corn or barley as feedstock was examined. The carbon dioxide gas from the ethanol fermentor was sparged directly into the liquid media in the succinic acid fermentor without any pretreatment. Without the CO(2) supplement, the highest succinic acid yield was observed with Na(2)CO(3), followed by NH(4)OH, and lowest with the other two bases. When the CO(2) produced in the ethanol fermentation was sparged into the media in the succinic acid fermentor, no improvement of succinic acid yield was observed with Na(2)CO(3). However, several-fold increases in succinic acid yield were observed with the other bases, with NH(4)OH giving the highest yield increase. The yield of succinic acid with CO(2) supplement from the ethanol fermentor when NH(4)OH was used for pH control was equal to that obtained when Na(2)CO(3) was used, with or without CO(2) supplementation. The benefit of sparging CO(2) from ethanol fermentation on the yield of succinic acid demonstrated the feasibility of integration of succinic acid fermentation with ethanol fermentation in a biorefinery for production of fuels and industrial chemicals.