In an artificial metabolic system, the formaldehyde is added via aldolase, to appropriate cosubstrates forming 2,4-dihydroxybutyric acid (DHB), homoserine (hSer), and 1,3-propanediol (PDO). As an aldolase, hpal from Escherichia coli was used. It accepts also other aldehydes. The study is considered a proof of principle that high-cell density cultures of resting cells of C. glutamicum can be used to form valuable compounds from toxic precursors such as formaldehyde or phenol (as shown in earlier work on catechol). Metabolic engineering was not rigorously done, yields were not optimised, and by-products occurred.

Keisuke Yamamoto, 73rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Biotechnology, Japan

Nikkei Biotech, November 18, 2021