Pyruvate Production from Whey Powder by Metabolic Engineered Klebsiella oxytoca

Menghao Cao, Tongtong Jiang, Ping Li, Yipeng Zhang, Shiting Guo, Wensi Meng, Chuanjuan Lü, Wen Zhang, Ping Xu, Chao Gao, Cuiqing Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Pyruvate is an important platform material widely used in food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. Pyruvate-tolerant Klebsiella oxytoca PDL-0 was chosen as a chassis for pyruvate production via metabolic engineering. Genes related to by-product generation were knocked out to decrease the production of 2,3-butantediol, acetate, ethanol, and succinate. The NADH oxidase encoding gene nox was inserted into the locus of the lactate dehydrogenase encoding gene ldhD in the genome of K. oxytoca to simultaneously block lactate production and regenerate NAD+. The pyruvate importers CstA and YjiY were identified, and their encoding genes were deleted to increase pyruvate accumulation. The engineered strain K. oxytoca PDL-YC produced 71.0 g/L pyruvate from glucose. Furthermore, K. oxytoca PDL-YC can use whey powder, an abundant by-product of the cheese making process, as substrate for pyruvate production. Pyruvate production with a concentration of 62.3 g/L and a productivity of 1.60 g/[L·h] was realized using whey powder as substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15275-15283
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - 23 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Klebsiella oxytoca
  • metabolic engineering
  • pyruvate
  • transporter
  • whey


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