Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 1839–1843 | Cite as

Differential sensitivities of the growth of Escherichia coli to acrylate under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and its effect on product formation

Original Research Paper


The effect of acrylate on the growth of Escherichia coli was determined under aerobic and anaerobic conditions in glucose-defined medium. Growth occurred with up to 35 mM acrylate under aerobic conditions but ceased at 5 mM acrylate under anaerobic conditions. This differential sensitivity can be attributed to inhibition of pyruvate formate lyase and/or pflB gene repression, as this enzyme is necessary for anaerobic growth of E. coli. The effect of acrylate on end-product distribution was also determined by growing E. coli first aerobically, then switching to anaerobic conditions. In the absence of acrylate, E. coli generated the typical distribution of mixed-acid products, with about 12 % of pyruvate being metabolically converted to lactate. In contrast, in the presence of 5 mM acrylate, E. coli converted 83 % of pyruvate to lactate, consistent with a reduction in pyruvate formate lyase activity.


Acrylate Aerobic/anaerobic effects E. coli Lactate Pyruvate formate lyase Pyruvate metabolism 


  1. Akedo M, Cooney CL, Sinskey AJ (1983) Direct demonstration of lactate-acrylate interconversion in Clostridium propionicum. Nat Biotechnol 1:791–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bozell JJ, Petersen GR (2010) Technology development for the production of bio based products from biorefinery carbohydrates—the US Department of Energy’s “Top 10” revisited. Green Chem 12:539–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burk MJ, Burgard AP, Pharkya P (2012) Microorganisms and methods for the biosynthesis of fumarate, malate, and acrylate U.S. Patent 8,129,154Google Scholar
  4. Clark DP (1989) The fermentation pathways of Escherichia coli. FEMS Microbiol Rev 63:223–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eiteman MA, Chastain MJ (1997) Optimization of the ion-exchange analysis of organic acids from fermentation. Anal Chim Acta 338:69–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kandasamy V, Vaidyanathan H, Djurdjevic I, Jayamani E, Ramachandran KB, Buckel W, Jayaraman G, Ramalingam S (2013) Engineering Escherichia coli with acrylate pathway genes for propionic acid synthesis and its impact on mixed-acid fermentation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 97:1191–1200PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lilga MA, White JR, Holladay JE, Zacher AH, Muzatko DS, Orth RJ (2010) Method for the conversion of β-hydroxy carbonyl compounds. U.S. Patent 7,687,661Google Scholar
  8. Millet JMM (1998) FePO catalysts for the selective oxidative dehydrogenation of isobutyrate into methacrylic acid. Cat Rev Sci Eng 40:1–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ning L, Ding Y, Chen W, Gong L, Lin R, Yuan L, Xin Q (2008) Glycerol dehydration to acrolein over activated carbon-supported silicotungstic acids. Chinese J Catal 29:212–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Plaga W, Vielhaber G, Wallach J, Knappe J (2000) Modification of Cys-418 of pyruvate formate-lyase by methacrylic acid, based on its radical mechanism. FEBS Lett 466:45–48PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Qu M, Bhattacharya SK (1996) Degradation and toxic effects of acrylic acid on anaerobic systems. J Environ Eng 122:749–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Straathof AJJ, Sie S, Franco TT, van der Wielen LAM (2005) Feasibility of acrylic acid production by fermentation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 67:727–734PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Todd JD, Curson ARJ, Sullivan MJ, Kirkwood M, Johnston AWB (2012) The Ruegeria pomeroyi AcuI gene has a role in DMSP catabolism and resembles yhdH of E. coli and other bacteria in conferring resistance to acrylate. PLoS One 7(4):e35947PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Watanabe M, Iida T, Aizawa Y, Aida TM, Inomata H (2007) Acrolein synthesis from glycerol in hot-compressed water. Bioresour Technol 98:1285–1290PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Xu X, Lin J, Cen P (2006) Advances in the research and development of acrylic acid production from biomass. Chin J Chem Eng 14:419–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Zhong L, Whitehouse RS (2005) Methods of making intermediates from polyhydroxyalkanoates. U. S. Patent 6,897,338Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajay S. Arya
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sarah A. Lee
    • 1
  • Mark A. Eiteman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.BioChemical Engineering, College of EngineeringUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations