Patchoulol Production with Metabolically Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum

by Nadja A. Henke, Julian Wichmann, Thomas Baier, Jonas Frohwitter, Kyle J. Lauersen, Joe M. Risse, Petra Peters-Wendisch, Olaf Kruse, Volker F. Wendisch
Article Year: 2018


Henke, N., Wichmann, J., Baier, T., Frohwitter, J., Lauersen, K., Risse, J., Peters-Wendisch, P., Kruse, O., Wendisch, V., 2018. Patchoulol Production with Metabolically Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum. Genes (Basel). 9, 219.



Patchoulol is a sesquiterpene alcohol and an important natural product for the perfume industry. Corynebacterium glutamicum is the prominent host for the fermentative production of amino acids with an average annual production volume of ~6 million tons. Due to its robustness and well established large-scale fermentation, C. glutamicum has been engineered for the production of a number of value-added compounds including terpenoids. Both C40 and C50 carotenoids, including the industrially relevant astaxanthin, and short-chain terpenes such as the sesquiterpene valencene can be produced with this organism. In this study, systematic metabolic engineering enabled construction of a patchoulol producing C. glutamicum strain by applying the following strategies: (i) construction of a farnesyl pyrophosphate-producing platform strain by combining genomic deletions with heterologous expression of ispA from Escherichia coli; (ii) prevention of carotenoid-like byproduct formation; (iii) overproduction of limiting enzymes from the 2-c-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP)-pathway to increase precursor supply; and (iv) heterologous expression of the plant patchoulol synthase gene PcPS from Pogostemon cablin. Additionally, a proof of principle liter-scale fermentation with a two-phase organic overlay-culture medium system for terpenoid capture was performed. To the best of our knowledge, the patchoulol titers demonstrated here are the highest reported to date with up to 60 mg L−1 and volumetric productivities of up to 18 mg L−1 d−1.


patchoulol Corynebacterium glutamicum sesquiterpene metabolic engineering Algae Escherichia coli