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Postgenomic Approaches To Using Corynebacteria As Biocatalysts

Alain A. Vertès, Masayuki Inui, Hideaki Yukawa

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Corynebacterium glutamicum exhibits numerous ideal intrinsic attributes as a factory of primary and secondary metabolites. The versatile capabilities of this organism have long been implemented at the industrial scale to produce an array of amino acids at high yields and conversion rates, thereby enabling the development of an entire industry. The postgenomic era provides a new technological platform not only to further optimize the intrinsic attributes of C. glutamicum whole cells as biocatalysts, but also to dramatically expand the product portfolio that can be manufactured by this organism, from amino acids to commodity chemicals. This review addresses the methods and strain optimization strategies enabled by genomic information and associated techniques. Their implementation has provided important additional incremental improvements to the economics of industry-scale manufacturing in which C. glutamicum and its episomal elements are used as a performing host-vector system.