Engineering Cupriavidus necator H16 for the autotrophic production of (R)-1,3-butanediol

Joshua Luke Gascoyne, Rajesh Reddy Bommareddy, Stephan Heeb, Naglis Malys*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Butanediols are widely used in the synthesis of polymers, specialty chemicals and important chemical intermediates. Optically pure R-form of 1,3-butanediol (1,3-BDO) is required for the synthesis of several industrial compounds and as a key intermediate of β-lactam antibiotic production. The (R)-1,3-BDO can only be produced by application of a biocatalytic process. Cupriavidus necator H16 is an established production host for biosynthesis of biodegradable polymer poly-3-hydroxybutryate (PHB) via acetyl-CoA intermediate. Therefore, the utilisation of acetyl-CoA or its upstream precursors offers a promising strategy for engineering biosynthesis of value-added products such as (R)-1,3-BDO in this bacterium. Notably, C. necator H16 is known for its natural capacity to fix carbon dioxide (CO2) using hydrogen as an electron donor. Here we report engineering of this facultative lithoautotrophic bacterium for heterotrophic and autotrophic production of (R)-1,3-BDO. Implementation of (R)-3-hydroxybutyraldehyde-CoA- and pyruvate-dependent biosynthetic pathways in combination with abolishing PHB biosynthesis and reducing flux through the tricarboxylic acid cycle enabled to engineer strain, which produced 2.97 g/L of (R)-1,3-BDO and achieved production rate of nearly 0.4 Cmol Cmol-1 h-1 autotrophically. This is first report of (R)-1,3-BDO production from CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-276
Number of pages15
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Early online date2 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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