Enhanced production of gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) in recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum strains from empty fruit bunch biosugar solution

Kei Anne Baritugo, Hee Taek Kim, Yokimiko David, Tae Uk Khang, Sung Min Hyun, Kyoung Hee Kang, Ju Hyun Yu, Jong Hyun Choi, Jae Jun Song, Jeong Chan Joo, Si Jae Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Recent interest has been focused on the production of platform chemicals from renewable biomass due to increasing concerns on global warming and depletion of fossil fuel reserves. Microbial production of platform chemicals in biorefineries has been suggested to be a promising solution for these problems. Gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA), a versatile bulk chemical used in food and pharmaceutical industry, is also used as a key monomer for nylon 4. GABA can be biologically produced by decarboxylation of glutamate. Results: In this study, we examined high glutamate-producing Corynebacterium glutamicum strains as hosts for enhanced production of GABA from glucose and xylose as carbon sources. An Escherichia coli gadB mutant with a broad pH range of activity and E. coli xylAB genes were expressed under the control of a synthetic H36 promoter. When empty fruit bunch (EFB) solution was used as carbon source (45g/L glucose and 5g/L xylose), 12.54±0.07g/L GABA was produced by recombinant C. glutamicum H36GD1852 expressing E. coli gadB mutantgene and xylAB genes. Batch fermentation of the same strain resulted in the production of 35.47g/L of GABA when EFB solution was added to support 90g/L glucose and 10g/L xylose. Conclusions: This is the first report of GABA production by recombinant C. glutamicum strains from co-utilization of glucose and xylose from EFB solution. Recombinant C. glutamicum strains developed in this study should be useful for an efficient and sustainable production of GABA from lignocellulosic biomasses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program from the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF‑2018M3A9H3020459), a basic research grant from the KRIBB, and the Lignin Biorefinery from MSIT through the NRF of Korea (NRF‑2017M1A2A2087634).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Co-utilization
  • Corynebacterium glutamicum
  • Empty fruit bunch
  • Gamma-aminobutyrate
  • Xylose


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