Due to the effect of catabolite repression, sugar mixtures cannot be metabolized in a rapid and efficient way implicating in lower productivity in bioprocesses using lignocellulosic hydrolysates. In gram-negative bacteria, this mechanism is mediated by the phosphotransferase system (PTS), which concomitantly internalizes and phosphorylates sugars. In this study, we isolated a UV mutant of Burkholderia sacchari, called LFM828, which transports hexoses and pentoses by a non-PTS uptake system. This mutant presented released glucose catabolite repression over the pentoses. In mixtures of glucose, xylose, and arabinose, specific growth rates and the specific sugar consumption rates were, respectively, 10 and 23% higher in LFM828, resulting in a reduced time to exhaust all sugars in the medium. However, in polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) biosynthesis experiments it was necessary the supplementation of yeast extract to maintain higher values of growth rate and sugar consumption rate. The deficient growth in mineral medium was partially recovered by replacing the ammonium nitrogen source by glutamate. It was demonstrated that the ammonium metabolism is not defective in LFM828, differently from ammonium, glutamate can also be used as carbon and energy allowing an improvement on the carbohydrates utilization for PHB production in LFM828. In contrast, higher rates of ammonia consumption and CO2 production in LFM828 indicate altered fluxes through the central metabolism in LFM828 and the parental. In conclusion, PTS plays an important role in cell physiology and the elimination of its components has a significant impact on catabolite repression, carbon flux distribution, and PHB biosynthesis in B. sacchari.
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Authors would like to thank Georgina Hernández-Chávez for HPLC determinations. This study was supported by grants from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and from Program of International Mobility of Santander Bank.
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