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Development of new biocatalysts and process optimization for the production of long-chain α,ω-dicarboxylic acids

: Werner, Nicole; Riepe, Bianca; Vater, Björn; Geiger, Georg; Hirth, Thomas; Rupp, Steffen; Zibek, Susanne

Biospektrum (2015), Sonderausgabe: Tagungsband zur VAAM-Jahrestagung 2015 1.–4. März in Marburg/Lahn, S.128
ISSN: 0947-0867
ISSN: 1868-6249
Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie (VAAM Jahrestagung) <2015, Marburg>
Fraunhofer IGB ()

Introduction: α,ω-dicarboxylic acids (DCA) are versatile chemical
intermediates of different chain length used as raw materials for the
preparation of parfums, polymers, or adhesives. The majority of industrial
short chained DCA production is based on chemical conversion from
petrochemical raw materials. However, chemical synthesis of long-chain
DCA (>13 C atoms) is challenging and expensive. An alternative to
chemical synthesis is the biotechnological production of DCA from
renewable resources. Some microorganisms, like yeasts of the genus
Candida, are able to oxidize long-chain, unsaturated alkanes or saturated
and unsaturated fatty acids at the terminus and convert them selectively to
􀄮,􀈦-dicarboxylic acids.
Objectives: Our aim is the process optimization for the production of
long-chain DCA with Candida tropicalis and the development of new
biocatalysts via metabolic engineering.
Methods: We investigated growth and production parameters for the bioconversion
of fatty acids into diacids with C. tropicalis. In parallel, we
screened for alternative microbial biocatalysts and have started with
targeted metabolic engineering.
Results: We could improve the fermentative production process of 1,18-
octadecenoic diacid with C. tropicalis. In addition we demonstrated the
conversion of several renewable resources (fatty acids or fatty acid
methylesters) into diacids. Also, we identified Pichia guilliermondii as
potential new DCA-producer.
Conclusion: C. tropicalis is an optimized biocatalyst for DCA production
with a broad substrate spectrum and high production yields. However,
industrial usage of C. tropicalis is hindered because of its BSL-2 status in
Europe. New BSL-1 biocatalysts like P. guilliermondii have to be
genetically improved via metabolic engineering.