Biosynthetic routes based on cost-efficient, eco-friendly, and sustainable platforms for compounds such as styrene are urgently needed. The biosynthesis of styrene from L-phenylalanine via trans-cinnamate has long been established, but styrene toxicity limits yields. We demonstrate that whole-cell cascade biotransformation employing an E. coli consortium expressing respectively phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and ferulic acid decarboxylase negates both the issue of styrene toxicity and the need for enzyme purification. Using resting or lyophilised cells, efficient conversion of L-Phe to styrene (up to ~24 g /L) is readily achieved and combined with robust extraction methods. The use of L-Phe enriched biomass with the E. coli consortium yields an equally robust and rapid production and isolation of renewable styrene. This study establishes an improved strategy for industrial bio-production of styrene, and by extension other toxic or reactive chemicals from corresponding bio-compatible precursors.
|Early online date||4 Jan 2023|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 4 Jan 2023|
- styrene bio-production
- whole-cell biotransformation
- ferulic acid decarboxylase (Fdc)
- phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL)