Enhanced hydrogen production from glucose by metabolically engineered Escherichia coli

Toshinari Maeda, Viviana Sanchez-Torres, Thomas K. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


To utilize fermentative bacteria for producing the alternative fuel hydrogen, we performed successive rounds of P1 transduction from the Keio Escherichia coli K-12 library to introduce multiple, stable mutations into a single bacterium to direct the metabolic flux toward hydrogen production. E. coli cells convert glucose to various organic acids (such as succinate, pyruvate, lactate, formate, and acetate) to synthesize energy and hydrogen from formate by the formate hydrogen-lyase (FHL) system that consists of hydrogenase 3 and formate dehydrogenase-H. We altered the regulation of FHL by inactivating the repressor encoded by hycA and by overexpressing the activator encoded by fhlA, removed hydrogen uptake activity by deleting hyaB (hydrogenase 1) and hybC (hydrogenase 2), redirected glucose metabolism to formate by using the fdnG, fdoG, narG, focA, focB, poxB, and aceE mutations, and inactivated the succinate and lactate synthesis pathways by deleting frdC and ldhA, respectively. The best of the metabolically engineered strains, BW25113 hyaB hybC hycA fdoG frdC ldhA aceE, increased hydrogen production 4.6-fold from glucose and increased the hydrogen yield twofold from 0.65 to 1.3 mol H2/mol glucose (maximum, 2 mol H2/mol glucose).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-890
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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