Cyanobacteria are an important group of photoautotrophic bacteria that have been engineered and used to produce a wide range of biomaterials and biofuels, which are usually derived from important intermediates of the central metabolic pathways. In this study, the production of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate and poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate in cyanobacteria was studied, and metabolic engineering strategies to improve the yields were also investigated. The genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway for poly-3-hydroxybutyrate from Chlorogloeopsis fritschii PCC 9212 were introduced into Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, and the resulting strain was able to accumulate 2.77% of total cell dry weight as poly-3-hydroxybutyrate. When the ccmR gene was deleted in this strain, the yield of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate increased to 3.97% of total cell dry weight. A biosynthetic pathway for the production of 4-hydroxybutyryl-CoA was also constructed and introduced into the poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-producing strain. The resulting strain was able to produce ~4.5% of total cell dry weight as poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate, in which 4-hydroxybutyrate accounted for ~12% of the co-polymer. These results demonstrate that poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate can be produced in cyanobacteria and confirm that succinic semialdehyde is an important TCA cycle metabolite in cyanobacteria. This study also demonstrates the potential for future metabolic engineering in cyanobacteria that is based on recently discovered metabolites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology