Skip to main content
Log in

Microbial production of vitamin B12

  • Mini-Review
  • Published:
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract.

One of the most alluring and fascinating molecules in the world of science and medicine is vitamin B12 (cobalamin), which was originally discovered as the anti pernicious anemia factor and whose enigmatic complex structure is matched only by the beguiling chemistry that it mediates. The biosynthesis of this essential nutrient is intricate, involved and, remarkably, confined to certain members of the prokaryotic world, seemingly never have to have made the eukaryotic transition. In humans, the vitamin is required in trace amounts (approximately 1 µg/day) to assist the actions of only two enzymes, methionine synthase and (R)-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase; yet commercially more than 10 t of B12 are produced each year from a number of bacterial species. The rich scientific history of vitamin B12 research, its biological functions and the pathways employed by bacteria for its de novo synthesis are described. Current strategies for the improvement of vitamin B12 production using modern biotechnological techniques are outlined.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Electronic Publication

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Martens, .JH., Barg, .H., Warren, .M. et al. Microbial production of vitamin B12 . Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 58, 275–285 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-001-0902-7

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-001-0902-7

Keywords

Navigation