Adaptive Laboratory Evolution of Eubacterium limosum ATCC 8486 on Carbon Monoxide.
ABSTRACT: Acetogens are naturally capable of metabolizing carbon monoxide (CO), a component of synthesis gas (syngas), for autotrophic growth in order to produce biomass and metabolites such as acetyl-CoA via the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. However, the autotrophic growth of acetogens is often inhibited by the presence of high CO concentrations because of CO toxicity, thus limiting their biosynthetic potential for industrial applications. Herein, we implemented adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) for growth improvement of Eubacterium limosum ATCC 8486 under high CO conditions. The strain evolved under syngas conditions with 44% CO over 150 generations, resulting in a significant increased optical density (600 nm) and growth rate by 2.14 and 1.44 folds, respectively. In addition, the evolved populations were capable of proliferating under CO concentrations as high as 80%. These results suggest that cell growth is enhanced as beneficial mutations are selected and accumulated, and the metabolism is altered to facilitate the enhanced phenotype. To identify the causal mutations related to growth improvement under high CO concentrations, we performed whole genome resequencing of each population at 50-generation intervals. Interestingly, we found key mutations in CO dehydrogenase/acetyl-CoA synthase (CODH/ACS) complex coding genes, acsA and cooC. To characterize the mutational effects on growth under CO, we isolated single clones and confirmed that the growth rate and CO tolerance level of the single clone were comparable to those of the evolved populations and wild type strain under CO conditions. Furthermore, the evolved strain produced 1.34 folds target metabolite acetoin when compared to the parental strain while introducing the biosynthetic pathway coding genes to the strains. Consequently, this study demonstrates that the mutations in the CODH/ACS complex affect autotrophic growth enhancement in the presence of CO as well as the CO tolerance of E. limosum ATCC 8486.
Project description:Autotrophic conversion of CO2 to value-added biochemicals has received considerable attention as a sustainable route to replace fossil fuels. Particularly, anaerobic acetogenic bacteria are naturally capable of reducing CO2 or CO to various metabolites. To fully utilize their biosynthetic potential, an understanding of acetogenesis-related genes and their regulatory elements is required. Here, we completed the genome sequence of the syngas fermenting Eubacterium limosum ATCC 8486 and determined its transcription start sites (TSS). We constructed a 4.4 Mb long circular genome with a GC content of 47.2% and 4,090 protein encoding genes. To understand the transcriptional and translational regulation, the primary transcriptome was augmented, identifying 1,458 TSSs containing a high pyrimidine (T/C) and purine nucleotide (A/G) content at the -1 and +1 position, respectively, along with 1,253 5'-untranslated regions, and principal promoter elements such as -10 (TATAAT) and -35 (TTGACA), and Shine-Dalgarno motifs (GGAGR). Further analysis revealed 93 non-coding RNAs, including one for potential transcriptional regulation of the hydrogenase complex via interaction with molybdenum or tungsten cofactors, which in turn controls formate dehydrogenase activity of the initial step of Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. Our results provide comprehensive genomic information for strain engineering to enhance the syngas fermenting capacity of acetogenic bacteria.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The future sustainable production of chemicals and fuels from nonpetrochemical resources and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are two of the greatest societal challenges. Gas fermentation, which utilizes the ability of acetogenic bacteria such as Clostridium autoethanogenum to grow and convert CO2 and CO into low-carbon fuels and chemicals, could potentially provide solutions to both. Acetogens fix these single-carbon gases via the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. Two enzyme activities are predicted to be essential to the pathway: carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (CODH), which catalyzes the reversible oxidation of CO to CO2, and acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) synthase (ACS), which combines with CODH to form a CODH/ACS complex for acetyl-CoA fixation. Despite their pivotal role in carbon fixation, their functions have not been confirmed in vivo By genetically manipulating all three CODH isogenes (acsA, cooS1, and cooS2) of C. autoethanogenum, we highlighted the functional redundancies of CODH by demonstrating that cooS1 and cooS2 are dispensable for autotrophy. Unexpectedly, the cooS1 inactivation strain showed a significantly reduced lag phase and a higher growth rate than the wild type on H2 and CO2 During heterotrophic growth on fructose, the acsA inactivation strain exhibited 61% reduced biomass and the abolishment of acetate production (a hallmark of acetogens), in favor of ethanol, lactate, and 2,3-butanediol production. A translational readthrough event was discovered in the uniquely truncated (compared to those of other acetogens) C. autoethanogenum acsA gene. Insights gained from studying the function of CODH enhance the overall understanding of autotrophy and can be used for optimization of biotechnological production of ethanol and other commodities via gas fermentation. IMPORTANCE:Gas fermentation is an emerging technology that converts the greenhouse gases CO2 and CO in industrial waste gases and gasified biomass into fuels and chemical commodities. Acetogenic bacteria such as Clostridium autoethanogenum are central to this bioprocess, but the molecular and genetic characterization of this microorganism is currently lacking. By targeting all three of the isogenes encoding carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (CODH) in C. autoethanogenum, we identified the most important CODH isogene for carbon fixation and demonstrated that genetic inactivation of CODH could improve autotrophic growth. This study shows that disabling of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway via the inactivation of acsA (encodes CODH) significantly impairs heterotrophic growth and alters the product profile by abolishing acetate production. Moreover, we discovered a previously undescribed mechanism for controlling the production of this enzyme. This study provides valuable insights into the acetogenic pathway and can be used for the development of more efficient and productive strains for gas fermentation.
Project description:The trimethylamine methyltransferase MttB is the founding member of a widely distributed superfamily of microbial proteins. Genes encoding most members of the MttB superfamily lack the codon for pyrrolysine that distinguishes previously characterized trimethylamine methyltransferases, leaving the function(s) of most of the enzymes in this superfamily unknown. Here, investigating the MttB family member MtpB from the human intestinal isolate Eubacterium limosum ATCC 8486, an acetogen that excretes N-methyl proline during growth on proline betaine, we demonstrate that MtpB catalyzes anoxic demethylation of proline betaine. MtpB along with MtqC (a corrinoid protein) and MtqA (a methylcorrinoid:tetrahydrofolate methyltransferase) was much more abundant in E. limosum cells grown on proline betaine than on lactate. We observed that recombinant MtpB methylates Co(I)-MtqC in the presence of proline betaine and that other quaternary amines are much less preferred substrates. MtpB, MtqC, and MtqA catalyze tetrahydrofolate methylation with proline betaine, thereby forming a key intermediate in the Wood-Ljungdahl acetogenesis pathway. To our knowledge, MtpB methylation of Co(I)-MtqC for the subsequent methylation of tetrahydrofolate represents the first described anoxic mechanism of proline betaine demethylation. The activities of MtpB and associated proteins in acetogens or other anaerobes provide a possible mechanism for the production of N-methyl proline by the gut microbiome. MtpB's activity characterized here strengthens the hypothesis that much of the MttB superfamily comprises quaternary amine-dependent methyltransferases.
Project description:Autotrophic conversion of CO2 to value-added biochemicals has received considerable attention for the sustainable route to replace the fossil fuels. Particularly, anaerobic acetogenic bacteria are naturally capable of reducing CO2 or CO to various metabolites. To fully utilize their biosynthetic potential, systemic understanding of the metabolic network with the transcriptional and translational regulation of the corresponding genes is highly demanded. Here, we complete a genome sequence of Eubacterium limosum ATCC8466 in a circular form of 4.4 Mb, followed by integrating genome-scale measurements of its transcriptome and translatome. Interestingly, the transcriptionally abundant genes encoding the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway were regulated at translational level with decreased translation efficiency (TE). To understand the regulation, the primary transcriptome was augmented, which determined 1,458 transcription start sites (TSS) and 1,253 5’-untranslated regions (5′UTR). The data supports that under the autotrophic condition the TE of genes for the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and the energy conservation system were regulated by 5′UTR secondary structure. In addition, it was illustrated that the strain reallocates protein synthesis and energy economically, focusing more on translation of energy conservation system rather than on carbon metabolism under autotrophic growth. Thus, our results provide potential route for strain engineering to enhance syngas fermenting capacity. Overall design: Transcription abundance and ribosomal profiling analysis of Eubacterium limosum in heterotrophic and autotrophic condition
Project description:With recent advances in synthetic biology, CO2 could be utilized as a carbon feedstock by native or engineered organisms, assuming the availability of electrons. Two key enzymes used in autotrophic CO2 fixation are the CO dehydrogenase (CODH) and acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) synthase (ACS), which form a bifunctional heterotetrameric complex. The CODH/ACS complex can reversibly catalyze CO2 to CO, effectively enabling a biological water-gas shift reaction at ambient temperatures and pressures. The CODH/ACS complex is part of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WLP) used by acetogens to fix CO2, and it has been well characterized in native hosts. So far, only a few recombinant CODH/ACS complexes have been expressed in heterologous hosts, none of which demonstrated in vivo CO2 reduction. Here, functional expression of the Clostridium carboxidivorans CODH/ACS complex is demonstrated in the solventogen Clostridium acetobutylicum, which was engineered to express CODH alone or together with the ACS. Both strains exhibited CO2 reduction and CO oxidation activities. The CODH reactions were interrogated using isotopic labeling, thus verifying that CO was a direct product of CO2 reduction, and vice versa. CODH apparently uses a native C. acetobutylicum ferredoxin as an electron carrier for CO2 reduction. Heterologous CODH activity depended on actively growing cells and required the addition of nickel, which is inserted into CODH without the need to express the native Ni insertase protein. Increasing CO concentrations in the gas phase inhibited CODH activity and altered the metabolite profile of the CODH-expressing cells. This work provides the foundation for engineering a complete and functional WLP in nonnative host organisms.IMPORTANCE Functional expression of CO dehydrogenase (CODH) from Clostridium carboxidivorans was demonstrated in C. acetobutylicum, which is natively incapable of CO2 fixation. The expression of CODH, alone or together with the C. carboxidivorans acetyl-CoA synthase (ACS), enabled C. acetobutylicum to catalyze both CO2 reduction and CO oxidation. Importantly, CODH exhibited activity in both the presence and absence of ACS. 13C-tracer studies confirmed that the engineered C. acetobutylicum strains can reduce CO2 to CO and oxidize CO during growth on glucose.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Clostridium aceticum was the first isolated autotrophic acetogen, converting CO2 plus H2 or syngas to acetate. Its genome has now been completely sequenced and consists of a 4.2-Mbp chromosome and a small circular plasmid of 5.7 kbp. Sequence analysis revealed major differences from other autotrophic acetogens. C. aceticum contains an Rnf complex for energy conservation (via pumping protons or sodium ions). Such systems have also been found in C. ljungdahlii and Acetobacterium woodii. However, C. aceticum also contains a cytochrome, as does Moorella thermoacetica, which has been proposed to be involved in the generation of a proton gradient. Thus, C. aceticum seems to represent a link between Rnf- and cytochrome-containing autotrophic acetogens. In C. aceticum, however, the cytochrome is probably not involved in an electron transport chain that leads to proton translocation, as no genes for quinone biosynthesis are present in the genome. IMPORTANCE:Autotrophic acetogenic bacteria are receiving more and more industrial focus, as CO2 plus H2 as well as syngas are interesting new substrates for biotechnological processes. They are both cheap and abundant, and their use, if it results in sustainable products, also leads to reduction of greenhouse gases. Clostridium aceticum can use both gas mixtures, is phylogenetically not closely related to the commonly used species, and may thus become an even more attractive workhorse. In addition, its energy metabolism, which is characterized here, and the ability to synthesize cytochromes might offer new targets for improving the ATP yield by metabolic engineering and thus allow use of C. aceticum for production of compounds by pathways that currently present challenges for energy-limited acetogens.
Project description:Carbon monoxide dehydrogenase/acetyl-CoA synthase (CODH/ACS) is a five-subunit enzyme complex responsible for the carbonyl branch of the Wood-Ljungdahl (WL) pathway, considered one of the most ancient metabolisms for anaerobic carbon fixation, but its origin and evolutionary history have been unclear. While traditionally associated with methanogens and acetogens, the presence of CODH/ACS homologs has been reported in a large number of uncultured anaerobic lineages. Here, we have carried out an exhaustive phylogenomic study of CODH/ACS in over 6,400 archaeal and bacterial genomes. The identification of complete and likely functional CODH/ACS complexes in these genomes significantly expands its distribution in microbial lineages. The CODH/ACS complex displays astounding conservation and vertical inheritance over geological times. Rare intradomain and interdomain transfer events might tie into important functional transitions, including the acquisition of CODH/ACS in some archaeal methanogens not known to fix carbon, the tinkering of the complex in a clade of model bacterial acetogens, or emergence of archaeal-bacterial hybrid complexes. Once these transfers were clearly identified, our results allowed us to infer the presence of a CODH/ACS complex with at least four subunits in the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). Different scenarios on the possible role of ancestral CODH/ACS are discussed. Despite common assumptions, all are equally compatible with an autotrophic, mixotrophic, or heterotrophic LUCA. Functional characterization of CODH/ACS from a larger spectrum of bacterial and archaeal lineages and detailed evolutionary analysis of the WL methyl branch will help resolve this issue.
Project description:Eubacterium limosum KIST612 is an anaerobic acetogenic bacterium that uses CO as the sole carbon/energy source and produces acetate, butyrate, and ethanol. To evaluate its potential as a syngas microbial catalyst, we have sequenced the complete 4.3-Mb genome of E. limosum KIST612.
Project description:The presence of yeast cells could stimulate hydrogen utilization of acetogens and enhance acetogenesis. To understand the roles of acetogens in rumen fermentation, an in vitro rumen fermentation experiment was conducted with addition of acetogen strain (TWA4) and/or Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product (XP). A 2×2 factorial design with two levels of TWA4 (0 or 2×10(7) cells/ml) and XP (0 or 2 g/L) was performed. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) were increased (P<0.05) in XP and TWA4XP, while methane was increased only in TWA4XP (P<0.05). The increase rate of microorganisms with formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase, especially acetogens, was higher than that of methanogens under all treatments. Lachnospiraceae was predominant in all acetogen communities, but without close acetyl-CoA synthase (ACS) amino acid sequences from cultured isolates. Low-Acetitomaculum ruminis-like ACS was predominant in all acetogen communities, while four unique phylotypes in XP treatment were all amino acid identified low-Eubacterium limosum-like acetogens. It differs to XP treatment that more low-A. ruminis-like and less low-E. limosum-like sequences were identified in TWA4 and TWA4XP treatments. Enhancing acetogenesis by supplementation with an acetogen strain and/or yeast cells may be an approach to mitigate methane, by targeting proper acetogens such as uncultured low-E. limosum-like acetogens.
Project description:Acetogens such as Clostridium ljungdahlii can play a crucial role reducing the human CO2 footprint by converting industrial emissions containing CO2 , CO and H2 into valuable products such as organic acids or alcohols. The quantitative understanding of cellular metabolism is a prerequisite to exploit the bacterial endowments and to fine-tune the cells by applying metabolic engineering tools. Studying the three gas mixtures CO2 + H2 , CO and CO + CO2 + H2 (syngas) by continuously gassed batch cultivation experiments and applying flux balance analysis, we identified CO as the preferred carbon and electron source for growth and producing alcohols. However, the total yield of moles of carbon (mol-C) per electrons consumed was almost identical in all setups which underlines electron availability as the main factor influencing product formation. The Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WLP) showed high flexibility by serving as the key NAD+ provider for CO2 + H2, whereas this function was strongly compensated by the transhydrogenase-like Nfn complex when CO was metabolized. Availability of reduced ferredoxin (Fdred ) can be considered as a key determinant of metabolic control. Oxidation of CO via carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (CODH) is the main route of Fdred formation when CO is used as substrate, whereas Fdred is mainly regenerated via the methyl branch of WLP and the Nfn complex utilizing CO2 + H2 . Consequently, doubled growth rates, highest ATP formation rates and highest amounts of reduced products (ethanol, 2,3-butanediol) were observed when CO was the sole carbon and electron source.