Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 90, Issue 3, pp 989–995 | Cite as

A recombinant α-dioxygenase from rice to produce fatty aldehydes using E. coli

Biotechnologically Relevant Enzymes and Proteins


Fatty aldehydes are an important group of fragrance and flavor compounds that are found in different fruits and flowers. A biotechnological synthesis of fatty aldehydes based on Escherichia coli cells expressing an α-dioxygenase (αDOX) from Oryza sativa (rice) is presented. α-Dioxygenases are the initial enzymes of α-oxidation in plants and oxidize long and medium-chain C n fatty acids to 2-hydroperoxy fatty acids. The latter are converted to Cn − 1 fatty aldehydes by spontaneous decarboxylation. Successful expression of αDOX in E. coli was proven by an in vitro luciferase assay. Using resting cells of this recombinant E. coli strain, conversion of different fatty acids to the respective fatty aldehydes shortened by one carbon atom was demonstrated. The usage of Triton X 100 improves the conversion rate up to 1 g aldehyde per liter per hour. Easy reuse of the cells was demonstrated by performing a second biotransformation without any loss of biocatalytic activity.


Fatty acid Fatty aldehyde Alpha-dioxygenase Whole-cell biotransformation 



We thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Symrise AG for funding of the project (FKZ 0315177A).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DECHEMA e.V. Karl-Winnacker-Institut, Biochemical EngineeringFrankfurt/MainGermany

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