Erythritol is an important sweetener ingredient and chemical precursor for synthesizing materials with phase transition behavior. Commercial erythritol is primarily produced by industrial fermentation. Further strain engineering necessitates the development of high throughput screening method for rapid detection and screening of mutant strain libraries. In this work, we took advantage of the erythritol-responsive transcription factor EryD, and constructed a sensor-regulator system for rapid screening and characterization of erythritol overproducers. We configured the optimal architecture of the EryD sensor-regulator construct with improved sensitivity, specificity and dynamic response range. Coupled with mutagenesis and strain screening based on biosensors, we rapidly screened and characterized a strain library containing 1152 mutants derived from combined UV and ARTP mutagenesis, in a relatively short period of time (1 week). The optimal strain produced more than 148 g/L erythritol in bench-top reactors. This work provides a reference for other metabolic engineering researchers to develop industrially-relevant strains. The reported framework enables us to rapidly improve strain performance and engineer efficient microbial cell factories for industrial applications.
- High throughput screening
- Yarrowia lipolytica