President's mail  |   Contact  |   CAS  |   中文  |   Sitemap     
  Location: Home >> News >> Events
TIB made new progress on microbial production of β-carotene

Beta-carotene belongs to carotenoids family, which has lots of applications in pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, cosmetics and food industries. The global demand for β-carotene is about 1,000 tons per year. There are two methods for β-carotene production: chemical synthesis and microbial fermentation. Currently, 90% commercialized β-carotene is produced through chemical synthesis. However, its production by microbial fermentation had increased interests and will have great industrialization potential because the feedstock is renewable and the production process is environmental friendly.

Laboratory of microbial metabolic engineering led by Professor Xueli Zhang at Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, made new progress on microbial production of β-carotene. Through combined engineering of MEP, β-carotene synthesis, TCA, pentose phosphate and ATP synthesis modules, a genetically stable Escherichia coli strain was obtained which exhibited 74-fold yield increase over the wild type. This strain produced 2.1 g/L β-carotene with a yield of 60 mg/g. To the best of our knowledge, this was the highest β-carotene titer and yield obtained for engineered E. coli. This work suggested that energy and reducing equivalent supplies are key factors for terpenoids synthesis, which will be useful for improving production of terpenoids compounds.

This work was published in Metabolic Engineering. Jing Zhao (a graduate student trained by TIB and Tianjin University of Science & Technology in combination) and Qingyan Li (a research associate of TIB) are co-first authors of this paper. A Chinese patent was also applied (CN 201310039787.8). This research was supported by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China (2011CBA00806) and Tianjin Key Technology R&D program of Tianjin Municipal Science and Technology Commission. 

Link of the paper:

Fig. 1 Combined engineering of ATP synthesis, TCA and pentose phosphate modules.

Image by Prof. Xueli Zhang’s group


32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: 022-84861997/84861977 Fax: 022-84861926 E-mail: tib_zh(AT)
Copyright @2013, Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences