Biosynthesis of β-caryophyllene, a novel terpene-based high-density biofuel precursor, using engineered Escherichia coli


Construct a novel efficient metabolic pathway for the β-caryophyllene production.

The strain YJM59 could accumulate β-caryophyllene up to 1.52 g/L under the fed-batch fermentation conditions.

Our results provide a new strategy that is green and sustainable for β-caryophyllene production using Escherichia coli.


β-caryophyllene is a common sesquiterpene compound currently being studied as a promising precursor for the production of high-density fuels. Acute demand for high-density fuels has provided the impetus to pursue biosynthetic methods to produce β-caryophyllene from reproducible sources. In this study, we produced β-caryophyllene by assembling a biosynthetic pathway in an engineered Escherichia coli strain of which phosphoglucose isomerase gene has been deleted. The 1- deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate (DXP) or heterologous mevalonate (MVA) pathways were employed. Meanwhile, geranyl diphosphate synthase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and β-caryophyllene synthase genes were co-overexpressed in the above strain. The final genetically modified strain, YJM59, produced 220 ± 6 mg/L of β-caryophyllene in flask culture. We also evaluated the use of fed-batch fermentation for the production of β-caryophyllene. After induction for 60 h, the YJM59 strain produced β-caryophyllene at a concentration of 1520 mg/L. The volumetric production fermented in the aerobic fed-batch was 0.34 mg/(L·h·OD600) and the conversion efficiency of glucose to β-caryophyllene (gram to gram) was 1.69%. Our results are the first successful attempt to produce β-caryophyllene using E. coli BL21(DE3), and provide a new strategy that is green and sustainable for the production of β-caryophyllene.


  • β-Caryophyllene;
  • DXP pathway;
  • MVA pathway;
  • Escherichiacoli


  • DMAPP, dimethylallyl pyrophosphate;
  • IPP, isopentenyl pyrophosphate;
  • GPP, geranyl diphosphate;
  • MVA, mevalonate;
  • DXP, 1-Deoxy-d-Xylulose 5-Phosphate;
  • IPTG, isopropyl β-D-thiogalactoside;
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction;
  • GC, gas chromatography;
  • FPP, farnesyl diphosphate

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.