Rational design and construction of an efficient E. coli for production of diapolycopendioic acid

Pornkamol Unrean, Cong T. Trinh, Friedrich Srienc

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39 Scopus citations


We applied elementary mode analysis to a recombinant metabolic network of carotenoid-producing E. coli in order to identify multiple-gene knockouts for an enhanced synthesis of the carotenoids diapolycopendial (DPL) and diapolycopendioic acid (DPA). Based on the model, all inefficient carotenoid biosynthesis pathways were eliminated in a strain containing a combination of eight gene deletions. To validate the model prediction, the designed strain was constructed and tested for its performance. The designed mutant produces the carotenoids at significantly increased yields and rates as compared to the wild-type. The consistency between model prediction and experimental results demonstrates that elementary mode analysis is useful as a guiding tool also for the rational strain design of more complex pathways for secondary metabolite production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-122
Number of pages11
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported in part by the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE) and by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant no. GM077529 . The authors would like to thank Professor Claudia Schmidt-Dannert for kindly providing carotenoid plasmids and Erik Holtzapple for useful advice.


  • Elementary mode analysis
  • Escherichia coli metabolism
  • Inverse metabolic engineering
  • Metabolic network analysis
  • carotenoid production


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