Genetically engineered Rhodobacter sphaeroides for the overproduction of d-aminolevulinic acid
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Genes for b and a polypeptides of the light- harvesting II complexes in Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1 are encoded by the pucBA operon, and their expression is highly regulated by oxygen level and light intensity. d-Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) in this bacterium is syn- thesized by ALA synthase isozymes encoded by hemA and hemT. Recombinant plasmids carrying either a pucB¢-hemA transcriptional fusion (pAS608A) or a pucB¢-hemT translational fusion (pAS607A) have been constructed. Derivatives of Escherichia coli SASP19 (hemA) mutant), harboring either pAS608A or pAS607A, still required exogenous ALA supplementa- tion. However, each of these functions could be expressed in R. sphaeroides AT1 (hemA) and hemT) mutant of R. sphaeroides 2.4.1) such that AT1 could grow in the medium without exogenous ALA supple- mentation. Introduction of pAS608A into R. sphaeroides 2.4.1 resulted in the increase of ALA synthase activity under both aerobic and photosynthetic growth condi- tions, while the introduction of pAS607A resulted in the increase of ALA synthase only under aerobic conditions. The production of extracellular and intracellular ALA in R. sphaeroides 2.4.1 (pAS608A) or R. sphaeroides 2.4.1 (pAS607A) was not signi®cantly different from that of the wild-type strain in either aerobic or photosynthetic growth conditions.