Bioproduction of succinate using Euglena gracilis from carbon dioxide

December 21, 2016

Researchers at Meiji University, RIKEN CSRS, Kobe University and euglena Co. Ltd. have succeeded in production of succinate using Euglena gracilis from carbon dioxide. The researchers focus on bioproduction of succinate which is raw material used for bioplastics. Succinate is currently produced petrochemically, but, bioproduction of succinate is preferable way to reduce environmental burden.

The researchers discovered that E. gracilis, a unicellular microalgae performing oxygenic photosynthesis, excretes organic acids such as succinate and lactate under dark, anaerobic conditions. The succinate levels could be controlled by the media and carbon sources under dark, anaerobic conditions.

Exposing E. gracilis to nitrogen-deficient conditions before dark, anaerobic incubation elevated succinate excretion by 70-fold (to 869.6 mg/L); the highest levels among microalgal production of succinate to date.

The researchers, in this way, have developed novel technology to produce succinate through photosynthesis and further development of these techniques will give the solutions for various environmental problems.


Original article
Frontiers in Microbiology doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.02050
Y. Tomita, K. Yoshioka, H. Iijima, A. Nakashima, O. Iwata, K. Suzuki, T. Hasunuma, A. Kondo, M. Y. Hirai, T. Osanai,
"Succinate and lactate production from Euglena gracilis during dark, anaerobic condition".

Takashi Osanai; Visiting Scientist
Masami Hirai; Team Leader
Metabolic Systems Research Team