, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 132-138

Isolation and characterization of ethanol-tolerant mutants of Escherichia coli KO11 for fuel ethanol production

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Genetically engineered Escherichia coli KO11 is capable of efficiently producing ethanol from all sugar constituents of lignocellulose but lacks the high ethanol tolerance of yeasts currently used for commercial starch-based ethanol processes. Using an enrichment method which selects alternatively for ethanol tolerance during growth in broth and for ethanol production on solid medium, mutants of KO11 with increased ethanol tolerance were isolated which can produce more than 60 g ethanol L−1 from xylose in 72 h. Ethanol concentrations and yields achieved by the LY01 mutant with xylose exceed those reported for recombinant strains of Saccharomyces and Zymomonas mobilis, both of which have a high native ethanol tolerance.