Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for 1-butanol production

Shota Atsumi, Anthony F. Cann, Michael R. Connor, Claire R. Shen, Kevin M. Smith, Mark P. Brynildsen, Katherine J.Y. Chou, Taizo Hanai, James C. Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

721 Scopus citations


Compared to ethanol, butanol offers many advantages as a substitute for gasoline because of higher energy content and higher hydrophobicity. Typically, 1-butanol is produced by Clostridium in a mixed-product fermentation. To facilitate strain improvement for specificity and productivity, we engineered a synthetic pathway in Escherichia coli and demonstrated the production of 1-butanol from this non-native user-friendly host. Alternative genes and competing pathway deletions were evaluated for 1-butanol production. Results show promise for using E. coli for 1-butanol production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology


  • Biofuel
  • Butanol
  • E. coli


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