Wild type Escherichia coli K-12 cannot grow on xylitol and we have been unsuccessful in isolating a mutant directly which had acquired this new growth ability. However, a mutant had been selected previously for growth on L-1,2-propanediol as the sole source of carbon and energy. This mutant constitutively synthesized a propanediol dehydrogenase. Recently, we have found that this dehydrogenase fortuitously converted xylitol to D-xylose which could normally be metabolized by E. coli K-12. In addition, it was also discovered that the D-xylose permease fortuitously transported xylitol into the cell. A second mutant was thus isolated from the L-1,2-propanediol-growing mutant that was constitutive for enzymes of the D-xylose pathway. This mutant could indeed grow on xylitol as the sole source of carbon and energy, by utilizing the enzymes normally involved in D-xylose and L-1,2-propanediol metabolism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology