Abstract

Cyanobacterial cell factories are widely researched for the sustainable production of compounds directly from CO2. Their application, however, has been limited for two reasons. First, traditional approaches have been shown to lead to unstable cell factories that lose their production capability when scaled to industrial levels. Second, the alternative approaches developed so far are mostly limited to growing conditions, which are not always the case in industry, where nongrowth periods tend to occur (e.g., darkness). We tackled both by generalizing the concept of growth-coupled production to fitness coupling. The feasibility of this new approach is demonstrated for the production of fumarate by constructing the first stable dual-strategy cell factory. We exploited circadian metabolism using both systems and synthetic biology tools, resulting in the obligatorily coupling of fumarate to either biomass or energy production. Resorting to laboratory evolution experiments, we show that this engineering approach is more stable than conventional methods. Read the full article here.