Ethanol Production in Actinomycetes after Expression of Synthetic adhB and pdc

Uwe Hardter^, Marta Luzhetska^, Sandra Ebeling, Andreas Bechthold*
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Institut für Pharmazeutische Wissenschaften, Pharmazeutische Biologie und Biotechnolo-gie, Stefan-Meier-Straße 19, 79104 Freiburg, Germany

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© 2012 Hardter et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Institut für Pharmazeutische Wissenschaften, Pharmazeutische Biologie und Biotechnologie, Stefan-Meier-Straße 19, 79104 Freiburg, Germany; Tel: (+49) 761-203-8371; Fax: (+49) 761-203-8383; E-mail:


Streptomyces strains are producing many important secondary metabolites, in many cases used as pharmaceuti-cal drugs. Though the usage of these bacteria for the production of fuel has never been described. We could show, that the expression of two artificial ethanologenic genes of Zymomonas mobilis in different actinomycetes strains resulted in the production of ethanol. The synthetic genes adhB and pdc encoding an alcohol dehydrogenase and a pyruvate decarboxy-lase, respectively, were expressed in eight different Streptomyces strains. Best production was obtained using Streptomy-ces coelicolor A3(2) harboring both genes. By variation of the cultivation conditions, the amount of ethanol produced by the strain could be increased up to 2.6 g/l.

Keywords: Ethanol production, Streptomyces, synthetic biology, actinomycetes, alcohol dehydrogenase.