Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.103, No.14, 5549-5566, 2019
Engineering Clostridium for improved solvent production: recent progress and perspective
Clostridia are Gram-positive, spore-forming, obligate anaerobic bacteria that can produce solvents such as acetone, ethanol, and butanol, which can be used as biofuels or building block chemicals. Many successful attempts have been made to improve solvent yield and titer from sugars through metabolic engineering of solventogenic and acidogenic clostridia. More recently, cellulolytic and acetogenic clostridia have also attracted high interests for their ability to utilize low-cost renewable substrates such as cellulose and syngas. Process engineering such as in situ butanol recovery and consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) has been developed for improved solvent titer and productivity. This review focuses on metabolic and process engineering strategies for solvent production from sugars, lignocellulosic biomass, and syngas by various clostridia, including conventional solventogenic Clostridium acetobutylicum, engineered acidogens such as C. tyrobutyricum and C. cellulovorans, and carboxydotrophic acetogens such as C. carboxidivorans and C. ljungdahlii.