Metabolic Engineering of a Pentose Metabolism Pathway in Ethanologenic Zymomonas mobilis

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Science  13 Jan 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5195, pp. 240-243
DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5195.240


The ethanol-producing bacterium Zymomonas mobilis was metabolically engineered to broaden its range of fermentable substrates to include the pentose sugar xylose. Two operons encoding xylose assimilation and pentose phosphate pathway enzymes were constructed and transformed into Z. mobilis in order to generate a strain that grew on xylose and efficiently fermented it to ethanol. Thus, anaerobic fermentation of a pentose sugar to ethanol was achieved through a combination of the pentose phosphate and Entner-Doudoroff pathways. Furthermore, this strain efficiently fermented both glucose and xylose, which is essential for economical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol.