Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 19, pp 8319–8327 | Cite as

Metabolic engineering of Clostridium acetobutylicum for the production of butyl butyrate

  • Hyeon Ji Noh
  • Ji Eun Woo
  • Sang Yup LeeEmail author
  • Yu-Sin JangEmail author
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Butyl butyrate is widely used as a fragrance additive for foods and beverages. The first step in the currently used process is the production of precursors, including butanol and butyrate, from petroleum using chemical catalysts, followed by the conversion of precursors to butyl butyrate by immobilized lipase. In this work, we engineered Clostridium acetobutylicum for the selective, one-step production of butyl butyrate from glucose. C. acetobutylicum ATCC 824, possessing a strong carbon flux that yields butanol and butyryl-CoA, was selected as a host and was engineered by introducing alcohol acyltransferases (AATs) from Fragaria x ananassa (strawberry) or Malus sp. (apple). Batch culture of the engineered C. acetobutylicum strain CaSAAT expressing the strawberry SAAT gene produced 50.07 mg/L of butyl butyrate with a selectivity of 84.8% of total esters produced. Also, the engineered C. acetobutylicum strain CaAAAT expressing the apple AAAT gene produced 40.60 mg/L of butyl butyrate with a selectivity of 87.4%. This study demonstrated the feasibility of the one-step fermentation of butyl butyrate from glucose in the engineered C. acetobutylicum, as a proof of concept.


Butyl butyrate Clostridium acetobutylicum Alcohol acyltransferase Butanol Ester 


Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2016R1D1A3B04933184). SYL was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes on Systems Metabolic Engineering for Biorefineries from the MSIT through the NRF of Korea (NRF-2012M1A2A2026556 and NRF-2012M1A2A2026557).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_9267_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.7 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1777 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Agriculture & Life Science (IALS), Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Food Science Technology, Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Plus Program)Gyeongsang National UniversityJinjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (BK21 Plus Program), BioProcess Engineering Research Center, Institute for the BioCenturyKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)DaejeonRepublic of Korea

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