Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.18, 7767-7775, 2020
Microbial and enzymatic conversion of levulinic acid, an alternative building block to fermentable sugars from cellulosic biomass
Levulinic acid (LA) is an important chemical building block listed among the top 12 value-added chemicals by the United States Department of Energy, and can be obtained through the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. Using the same approach as in the catalytic production of LA from biomass, catalytic methods to upgrade LA to higher value chemicals have been investigated. Since the discovery of the catabolic genes and enzymes in the LA metabolic pathway, bioconversion of LA into useful chemicals has attracted attention, and can potentially broaden the range of biochemical products derived from cellulosic biomass. With a brief introduction to the LA catabolic pathway inPseudomonasspp., this review summarizes the current studies on the microbial conversion of LA into bioproducts, including the recent developments to achieve higher yields through genetic engineering ofEscherichia colicells. Three different types of reactions during the enzymatic conversion of LA are also discussed.