Genomics, Biological Features, and Biotechnological Applications of Escherichia coli B: “Is B for better?!”

  • Sung Ho Yoon
  • Haeyoung Jeong
  • Soon-Kyeong Kwon
  • Jihyun F. Kim


Strains of Escherichia coli B, especially BL21, have been widely used for overproducing recombinant proteins, ethanol, and other biomolecules. Almost all laboratory strains of E. coli are derivatives of non-pathogenic K-12 or B strains. While most genetic and metabolic studies have been performed with K-12 strains, little has been done on B strains. Recently, genome sequences of two E. coli strains of the B lineage, REL606 and BL21(DE3), have been determined, and results of multi-omics analyses were compared between B and K-12. As compared to K-12, B strains show a number of phenotypes such as faster growth in minimal media, lower acetate production, higher expression levels of recombinant proteins, and less degradation of such proteins during purification. In this review, we summarize the unique biological features of the B strains and overview their academic and industrial applications.


Insertion Sequence Biotechnological Application Phenylacetic Acid High Cell Density Cultivation Glyoxylate Shunt 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Ho Yoon
    • 1
  • Haeyoung Jeong
    • 1
  • Soon-Kyeong Kwon
    • 1
  • Jihyun F. Kim
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Systems Microbiology Research CenterKorea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB)Yuseong-guRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy Research CenterKorea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB)YuseongRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Field of Functional Genomics, School of ScienceUniversity of Science and Technology (UST)YuseongRepublic of Korea

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