Botryococcene production from actinomycetes

December 12, 2017

Development of a terpenoid production platform

An international collaborative group from RIKEN CSRS and the University of Kentucky have succeeded in producing high levels of the terpenoid hydrocarbon botryococcene in actinomycetes. Botryococcene holds promise as an alternative resource for petroleum.

Terpenoid compounds are widely produced by plants and microorganisms and commonly used in industry, including for pharmaceuticals, functional food materials, fragrances and rubber. The structure of many bioactive terpenoid compounds is stereospecific and makes them difficult to synthesize chemically, so the development of microorganism-based production methods has moved forward. In recent years, terpenoids have been spotlighted as an energy resource.

To build a terpenoid production platform, the research group focused their attention on actinomycetes, which are known for their high yield of natural products. Using a system that collectively controls genes for both primary and secondary metabolites, the researchers were also able to successfully produce high levels of botryococcene.

This terpenoid production platform holds promise for use with various genetic resources to create new natural products.

Original article
ACS Synthetic Biology doi:10.1021/acssynbio.7b00249
A. Khalid, H. Takagi, S. Panthee, M. Muroi, J. Chappell, H. Osada, S. Takahashi,
"Development of a Terpenoid-Production Platform in Streptomyces reveromyceticus SN-593".
Shunji Takahashi; Unit Leader
Natural Product Biosynthesis Research Unit
Makoto Muroi; Senior Research Scientist
Hiroyuki Osada; Group Director
Chemical Biology Research Group