Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 1523–1529 | Cite as

Fermentation and genomic analysis of acetone-uncoupled butanol production by Clostridium tetanomorphum

  • Fuyu Gong
  • Guanhui Bao
  • Chunhua Zhao
  • Yanping ZhangEmail author
  • Yin Li
  • Hongjun DongEmail author
Bioenergy and biofuels


In typical acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) fermentation, acetone is the main by-product (50 % of butanol mass) of butanol production, resulting in a low yield of butanol. It is known that some Clostridium tetanomorphum strains are able to produce butanol without acetone in nature. Here, we described that C. tetanomorphum strain DSM665 can produce 4.16 g/L butanol and 4.98 g/L ethanol at pH 6.0, and 9.81 g/L butanol and 1.01 g/L ethanol when adding 1 mM methyl viologen. Butyrate and acetate could be reassimilated and no acetone was produced. Further analysis indicated that the activity of the acetate/butyrate:acetoacetyl-CoA transferase responsible for acetone production is lost in C. tetanomorphum DSM665. The genome of C. tetanomorphum DSM665 was sequenced and deposited in DDBJ, EMBL, and GenBank under the accession no. APJS00000000. Sequence analysis indicated that there are no typical genes (ctfA/B and adc) that are typically parts of an acetone synthesis pathway in C. tetanomorphum DSM665. This work provides new insights in the mechanism of clostridial butanol production and should prove useful for the design of a high-butanol-producing strain.


Clostridium tetanomorphum Acetone Butanol Fermentation ctfA/B adc 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 31270107), the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant number KSCX2-EW-J-6), and the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (grant number 2011AA02A208).

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Microbial Physiological and Metabolic EngineeringInstitute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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