Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/12/2006
Publication Date: 4/12/2006
Citation: Taylor, P., Wymer, N., Saha, B.C., Racine, M., Sakakibara, Y. 2006. A new approach to xylitol biosynthesis [abstract]. BIO 2006. Paper No. C32. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Xylitol is a naturally occurring polyol that is becoming increasingly popular as a low-calorie sweetener that can be used in diabetic foods. Xylitol may also help to prevent tooth decay. Currently, xylitol is produced by catalytic hydrogenation of D-xylose obtained from birch tree pulp. Birch tree hydrolyzate contains low concentrations of L-arabinose and other sugars that, if present, would cause major isolation problems. Because of the limited availability of birch wood hydrolyzate, there is little room for reducing the overall cost of the process. Our laboratory is researching new methods to produce xylitol from less costly and more readily available materials that contain high levels of both L-arabinose and D-xylose by fermentation. This presentation will outline our efforts to engineer an Escherichia coli xylitol production strain (using a combination pathway engineering and directed evolution) that can simultaneously convert L-arabinose and D-xylose to xylitol in an economically viable process.