Diversity of Lactobacillus reuteri Strains in Converting Glycerol into 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid


The present study aims at comparing the performances of three Lactobacillus reuteri strains (DSM 20016, DSM 17938, and ATCC 53608) in producing 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) from glycerol and at exploring inhibition phenomena during this bioconversion. Differences were highlighted between the three strains in terms of 3-HP production yield, kinetics of substrate consumption, and metabolite production. With a maximal productivity in non-optimal conditions (free pH) around 2 g.L−1.h−1 of 3-HP and 4 g.L−1.h−1 of 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde (3-HPA) depending on the strain, this study confirmed the potential of L. reuteri for the biotechnological production of 3-HP. Moreover, the molar ratios of 3-HP to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) obtained for the three strains (comprised between 1.25 and 1.65) showed systematically a higher 3-HP production. From these results, the DSM 17938 strain appeared to be the most promising strain. The impact of glycerol bioconversion on the bacteria’s physiological state (a decrease of around 40 % in DSM 17938 cells showing an enzymatic activity after 3 h) and survival (total loss of cultivability after 2 or 3 h depending on the strains) was revealed and discussed. The effect of each metabolite on L. reuteri DSM 17938 was further investigated, displaying a drastic inhibition caused by 3-HPA, while 3-HP induced lower impact and only at acidic pH.

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The authors thank Chandanie Hunter for correcting the English version of the manuscript.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Burgé, G., Saulou-Bérion, C., Moussa, M. et al. Diversity of Lactobacillus reuteri Strains in Converting Glycerol into 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 177, 923–939 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-015-1787-8

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  • 3-Hydroxypropionic acid
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Glycerol bioconversion
  • Inhibitory activity