Novel Xylose and Shikimate Transporters Facilitating the Design of a Microbial Consortium as a Chassis for Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloid Production

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Gao, Meirong
Zhao, Yuxin
Su, Qianhe
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Shao, Zengyi
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Microbiology allows you to learn about the microorganisms that affect us every day and how they interact with their surroundings. Through the program, you will be equipped with the knowledge to work in areas related to agriculture, the environment and medicine.
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals
Founded in 2008 with more than $44M in federal, industry, and Iowa State University funding, CBiRC works in tandem with Iowa and the nation’s growing biosciences sector. CBiRC’s goal is to lead the transformation of the chemical industry toward a future where chemicals derived from biomass resources will lead to the production of new bioproducts to meet evolving societal needs.
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Plant-sourced aromatic amino acid (AAA) derivatives are a vast group of compounds with broad applications. This study focuses on the development of a yeast consortium for efficient production of (S)- norcoclaurine, the key precursor for benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis. A novel xylose-specific transporter insensitive to glucose inhibition enabled the concurrent mixed-sugar utilization in Scheffersomyces stipitis, which played a crucial role in enhancing the flux entering the highly regulated shikimate pathway located upstream of AAA biosynthesis. Two novel quinate permeases isolated from Aspergillus niger facilitated shikimate translocation to the co-cultured Saccharomyces cerevisiae that converted shikimate to (S)-norcoclaurine, resulting in the highest titer (4.2 mg/L) ever reported in literature, nearly 40-fold higher than the best titer from an S. cerevisiae monoculture. Our findings magnify the potential of microbial consortium platforms for the economical de novo synthesis of complex compounds, where pathway modularization and compartmentalization in distinct specialty strains enable effective fine-tuning of long biosynthetic pathways and diminish intermediate buildup, thereby leading to remarkable increases in production.
This is a pre-print of the article Gao, Meirong, Yuxin Zhao, Qianhe Su, and Zengyi Shao. "Novel Xylose and Shikimate Transporters Facilitating the Design of a Microbial Consortium as a Chassis for Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloid Production." (2022). DOI: 10.21203/ Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Copyright 2022 The Authors. Posted with permission.