Harnessing eugenol as a substrate for production of aromatic compounds with recombinant strains of Amycolatopsis sp. HR167.

Research paper by Jörg J Overhage, Alexander A Steinbüchel, Horst H Priefert

Indexed on: 09 May '06Published on: 09 May '06Published in: Journal of biotechnology


To harness eugenol as cheap substrate for the biotechnological production of aromatic compounds, the vanillyl alcohol oxidase gene (vaoA) from Penicillium simplicissimum CBS 170.90 was cloned in an expression vector suitable for Gram-positive bacteria and expressed in the vanillin-tolerant Gram-positive strain Amycolatopsis sp. HR167. Recombinant strains harboring hybrid plasmid pRLE6SKvaom exhibited a specific vanillyl alcohol oxidase activity of 1.1U/g protein. Moreover, this strain had gained the ability to grow on eugenol as sole carbon source. The intermediates coniferyl alcohol, coniferyl aldehyde, ferulic acid, guajacol, and vanillic acid were detected as excreted compounds during growth on eugenol, whereas vanillin could only be detected in trace amounts. Resting cells of Amycolatopsis sp. HR167 (pRLE6SKvaom) produced coniferyl alcohol from eugenol with a maximum conversion rate of about 2.3 mmol/h/l of culture, and a maximum coniferyl alcohol concentration of 4.7 g/1 was obtained after 16 h biotransformation without further optimization. Beside coniferyl alcohol, traces of coniferyl aldehyde and ferulic acid were also detected.