The group around ZHAO Guang has engineered E. coli to produce a range of value-added chemicals starting from D-xylose, a sugar which makes up about 25 % of biomass. The researchers introduced the xylose metabolism pathway of Caulobacter crescentus into E. coli, thereby establishing a new biosynthetic pathway to glycolic acid and ethylene glycol. The yield of glycolic acid was 43.6 g/L, the xylose conversion rate 46.4%, and production efficiency reached 0.91 g/L/h. The yield of ethylene glycol was 72g/L, the conversion rate of xylose 40%, and the production rate 1.38g/L/h. In a previous study, the group achieved efficient biotransformation of xylose to xylonate and 1,2,4-butanetriol.

CAS news release, April 25, 2018