Project description:Background: Methanol is present in most ecosystems and may also occur in industrial applications, e.g. as an impurity of carbon sources such as technical glycerol. Methanol often inhibits growth of bacteria, thus, methanol tolerance may limit fermentative production processes. Results: The methanol tolerance of the amino acid producing soil bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum was improved by genetic adaption in the presence of methanol. The resulting strain Tol1 exhibited significantly increased growth rates in the presence of up to 1 M methanol. However, neither transcriptional changes nor increased enzyme activities of the linear methanol oxidation pathway were observed, which was in accordance with the finding that tolerance to the downstream metabolites formaldehyde and formate was not improved. Genome sequence analysis of strain Tol1 revealed two point mutations potentially relevant to enhanced methanol tolerance: one leading to the amino acid exchange A165T of O-acetylhomoserine sulfhydrolase MetY and the other leading to shortened CoA transferase Cat (Q342*). Introduction of either mutation into the genome of C. glutamicum wild type increased methanol tolerance and introduction of both mutations into C. glutamicum was sufficient to achieve methanol tolerance almost indistinguishable from that of strain Tol1. Conclusion: The methanol tolerance of C. glutamicum can be increased by two point mutations leading to amino acid exchange of O-acetylhomoserine sulfhydrolase MetY and shortened CoA transferase Cat. Introduction of these mutations into producer strains may be helpful when using carbon sources containing methanol as component or impurity. The gene expression was analyzed in the methanol tolerant strain Tol1 in comparison to the C. glutamicumWT. Direct comparison in LB complex medium and analysis of expression response to methanol addition in mCGXII minimal medium with 100 mM glucose.