L-Glycine alleviates furfural-induced growth inhibition during isobutanol production in Escherichia coli

Hun Suk Song, Jong Min Jeon, Yong Keun Choi, Jun Young Kim, Wooseong Kim, Jeong Jun Yoon, Kyungmoon Park, Jungoh Ahn, Hongweon Lee, Yung Hun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Lignocellulose is now a promising raw material for biofuel production. However, the lignin complex and crystalline cellulose require pretreatment steps for breakdown of the crystalline structure of cellulose for the generation of fermentable sugars. Moreover, several fermentation inhibitors are generated with sugar compounds, majorly furfural. The mitigation of these inhibitors is required for the further fermentation steps to proceed. Amino acids were investigated on furfural-induced growth inhibition in E. coli producing isobutanol. Glycine and serine were the most effective compounds against furfural. In minimal media, glycine conferred tolerance against furfural. From the IC50 value for inhibitors in the production media, only glycine could alleviate growth arrest for furfural, where 6 mM glycine addition led to a slight increase in growth rate and isobutanol production from 2.6 to 2.8 g/l under furfural stress. Overexpression of glycine pathway genes did not lead to alleviation. However, addition of glycine to engineered strains blocked the growth arrest and increased the isobutanol production about 2.3-fold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2172
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2016R1D1A1B03932163) and supported by Research Program to solve social issues of the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2017M3A9E4077234,). This work was also supported by the R&D Program of MOTIE/KEIT (10047910, 10049674). Consulting service from the Microbial Carbohydrate Resource Bank (MCRB, Seoul, Korea) was kindly appreciated.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.


  • Biomass
  • Furfural
  • Glycine
  • Isobutanol
  • Lignocellulose


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